Tigers Fall to N.C. State

N.C. State pounded out 16 hits, including seven doubles, to down Clemson 8-3 in game one Friday night in front of 1,867 fans at Doak Field. The 16 hits were the most allowed by Tiger pitchers since March 5 at Auburn, a span of 31 games.

It was only Clemson's second loss in its last 11 games, as the Tigers fell to 24-15 overall (11-5 ACC). N.C. State, who snapped the Tigers' five-game winning streak in the series, improved to 29-11 overall (10-9 ACC). The Wolfpack also upped their home record to 20-2 on the season.

Wolfpack starter Phillip Davidson (4-3) allowed three runs on four hits in 5.0 innings pitched to earn the win. Sam Walls, Jason Duncan, and Joey Devine pitched the final 4.0 innings without allowing a run to close out the game. Tiger starter Kris Harvey (5-2) suffered the loss, as the Catawba, NC native allowed five runs on six hits in 3.2 innings pitched. It was only Harvey's third loss of his career, as he fell to 15-3. Harvey and Stephen Clyne combined for 11 strikeouts.

Aaron Bates was 4-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs, and a walk, while Ramon Corona and Jonathan Diaz, the #8 and #9 batters in the lineup, each had two doubles, a single, and two RBIs. Herman Demmink had three of the Tigers' seven hits and reached another time on a Wolfpack error. Harvey had two hits, including a two-run homer, as well. Clemson was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-8 with two outs.

Clemson took a lead in the first inning thanks to the first two batters reaching base. Demmink led off with a single up the middle and Brad Chalk followed with a walk. Taylor Harbin lifted a fly ball to right field that allowed Demmink to move to third after the catch. Then Tyler Colvin flew out to left field, bringing home Demmink on the sacrfice fly.

The Wolfpack responded with a tying run in the bottom of the first inning. Brian Aragon drew a one-out walk and scored on Bates' double to the wall in left-center. Aragon was moving on the hit-and-run and scored easily.

N.C. State took the lead in the second inning. Bryan Kinneberg led off with a walk, went to second on Matt Devine's sacrifice bunt, and scored on Diaz's two-out double over the third-base bag.

After Harvey and Stan Widmann hit deep flies to left field that the wind blowing straight in knocked down and were caught on the warning track in the top of the fourth inning, Corona lined a single to center and went to third on a hit-and-run single by Diaz to begin the bottom of the fourth. Matt Camp then laid down a safety-squeeze bunt that plated Corona, as Harvey made a nice play to just get an out at first base. Bates brought home Diaz when he hit a soft liner over first-baseman Andy D'Alessio on a 1-2 pitch with two outs. Bates, who slapped his second-straight hit with two strikes and being down in the count, never stopped and turned it into a "hustle" double. Aaron Cone followed with an infield single to shortstop and Jake Muyco hit a perfectly-placed, pop-fly single down the right-field line, scoring Bates.

N.C. State kept the pressure on in the fifth inning as pinch-hitter Ryan Johnson and Matt Devine led off with back-to-back singles to right field, with the latter moving Johnson to third base. Corona continued the Wolfpack's well-placed hits with a double in the gap in right-center, scoring Johnson. Clyne did a tremendous job of preventing further damage by stranding two Wolfpack runners in scoring position with no outs.

The Tigers finally got a rally going in the sixth inning. Colvin led off the frame with a single up the middle, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Tiger in 2005. Harvey, after just missing a home run in his last at-bat, lined a two-run homer on the first pitch over the wall in left-center. It was his ACC-leading 13th of the season and cut N.C. State's lead to 6-3.

The Wolfpack added two, two-out insurance runs in the eighth inning. Corona and Diaz both hit run-scoring doubles to give N.C. State an 8-3 lead.

Clemson and N.C. State will play game two of the three-game series Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:06 PM. The game will be televised live by C-SET.

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