Tigers sweep away N.C. State

Jeff Schaus and Kyle Parker both drew bases-loaded walks with two outs in the eighth inning to propel No. 7 Clemson to a 7-6 comeback win over N.C. State in front of 3,663 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers, who swept the series 3-0, improved to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 11-4 overall and 0-3 in ACC play.

The Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second inning, but N.C. State chipped away at the lead and eventually took a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning. But the Tigers took advantage of three straight walks with two outs in the eighth inning to score two runs. Wolfpack pitchers combined to walk eight batters in the game and 26 in the series.

Tiger freshman righthander Jonathan Meyer (1-0) earned his first career win, as he retired all six batters he faced to close out the game. Wolfpack reliever Grant Sasser (2-1) suffered the loss, as he gave up one hit, two runs, and two walks in 0.2 innings pitched.

For the third game in a row, the Wolfpack took the game's first lead. In the top of the second inning, Drew Poulk reached on an error with one out and went to second on Chris Schaeffer's walk. Two batters later, Chris Diaz grounded a two-out single up the middle to score Poulk.

Clemson responded with four runs to take the lead in the bottom of the second inning. Wilson Boyd led off with a walk and Richie Shaffer followed with a single through the left side. After Brad Miller moved both runners up a base on a sacrifice bunt, Jason Stolz ripped the first pitch he saw to left field for a single to score Boyd and Shaffer. Two batters later with two outs, Epps walked and Mike Freeman did the same to load the bases. Schaus then grounded a single through the right side to plate Stolz and Epps, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

In the fifth inning, Schaeffer led off with a walk. Two batters later, Diaz was hit-by-pitch, then John Gianis lined a single to right- center to score Schaeffer. Dallas Poulk followed with a single to center on a 1-2 pitch to plate Diaz to narrow Clemson's lead to 4-3.

With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Drew Poulk tied the score when he hit a towering solo home run to left field, his third long ball of the season.

Clemson came right back and took the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Miller drew a one-out walk and went to second on pinch-hitter John Hinson's single through the left side. Two batters later, Epps lined a two-out single to right field to score Miller.

In the seventh inning, Diaz led off with a single to right-center and Gianis followed with a walk. Dallas Poulk's sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, then Andrew Ciencin's groundout plated Diaz to tie the score. Pratt Maynard untied the score when he hit a two-out single to right-center to score Gianis.

In the eighth inning, Hinson hit a one-out single to right field and Phil Pohl followed with a hit-by-pitch. Two batters later with two outs, Freeman walked to load the bases. After being down in the count 0-2, Schaus worked another walk to plate Hinson and tie the score. The Wolfpack brought in Russell Wilson to the mound to face Parker in a battle of ACC quarterbacks. Parker walked on five pitches to bring home Pohl for the go-ahead run.

Meyer retired all three batters in order in the ninth inning to seal the win, capped by Schaus' sliding, shoestring catch in foul territory off the bat of Dallas Poulk for the final out.

Clemson, who outhit N.C. State 9-6, was led at the plate by Hinson. For the second game in a row, he came off the bench and registered two hits, including a key single in the eighth inning that started Clemson's rally. Schaus added a game-high three RBIs as well.

Diaz had a team-high two hits and two runs for the Wolfpack.

Clemson will play at Charlotte on Tuesday at 6:00 PM.

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