The Tigers improved to 46-13 while dropping the NC State to 33-26 and eliminating the Wolfpack from the ACC Tournament. Assistant Tim Corbin skippered the Tigers in place of Head Coach Jack Leggett, who flew back to Clemson to attend his son's high school graduation.
Tyler Lumsden (3-1) earned the win for Clemson by pitching seven innings, allowing only two earned runs off eight hits while striking out nine and walking three. Jeff Hahn relieved Lumsden in the eighth and pitched two scoreless innings for his second save of the year. Daniel Caldwell (7-8) got the loss for NC State.
NC State opened the scoring with a run in the third inning. After singles by Joe Gaetti and Justin Riley, Colt Morton hit a two-out single to center that gave the Wolfpack a 1-0 lead. Clemson answered with a run of its own in the top of the fourth. Kyle Frank singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on Khalil Greene's sacrifice bunt. After a single by Jeff Baker, Frank scored on Michael Johnson's sacrifice fly to center field.
Clemson took the lead in the fifth with three two-out runs. Tampa, FL, native Roberto Valiente started things with a single through the left side that scored David Slevin from second base. A bunt single by Frank and walk by Khalil Greene loaded the bases for Jeff Baker, who drilled a single up the middle to score two runs that put the Tigers on top 4-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, NC State again used three singles to get on the board. Riley drove in a run with his base hit to left and the Wolfpack loaded the bases with one out after Greene's fielding error, his first against an ACC opponent this year. Lumsden came back with two straight strikeouts to get out of the jam with Clemson ahead 4-2.
Gaetti's two-out double scored one run and brought the Wolfpack to within 4-3 before the Tigers added an insurance run. Greene extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a single in the seventh inning, which is the longest hitting streak in one season at Clemson and the third longest ever for a Tiger. The hit also made him the second most prolific hitter in NCAA history with 380 hits. He trails only Phil Stephenson of Wichita State, who had 418 hits from 1979-82. Baker followed Greene with a single of his own before Johnson ripped a double off the wall in right to plate Greene and extend the advantage to 5-3.
NC State threatened in the bottom of the ninth with two leadoff singles. But Hahn induced a groundball that Greene scooped up, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.
Baker led the offense by going 4-5 with two RBIs, while Johnson went 2-3 with two RBIs. Frank went 3-5 with two runs scored while Russell Triplett was the other Tiger with at least two hits.
Clemson advances to play #2 seed Wake Forest at either noon or 3:30 on Saturday.
Tigers Squeak by N.C. State
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