Tigers drop tournament opener

N.C. State Downs No. 16 Clemson 13-8 in the ACC Tournament Wednesday. Brad Miller and Jeff Schaus both tally three hits for Clemson.

Box Score: N.C. State 13 Clemson 8

Kyle Wilson went 4-for-5 with four runs and four RBIs to lead the Wolfpack's 16-hit attack and N.C. State scored five two-out runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good in its 13-8 victory over No. 16 Clemson in front of 4,893 fans in the ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park on Wednesday night. The Wolfpack, who moved to 1-0 in the ACC Tourney, improved to 37-20 on the season, while the Tigers, who dropped to 0-1 in the ACC Tourney, fell to 37-20 in 2010.

The Tigers took a 4-3 lead on Jeff Schaus' two-run homer in the fifth inning, but N.C. State rallied with five two-out singles to score five runs in the sixth inning and added five more runs in the final three innings to seal the victory.

N.C. State starter Alex Sogard (2-2) earned the win. He allowed six hits, four runs (three earned), and no walks with three strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched.

Alex Frederick (6-2), the second of five Tiger hurlers, suffered the loss, as he yielded four runs on three hits in 0.1 innings pitched. Starter Casey Harman allowed five hits with eight strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched, while Kevin Brady allowed no walks with six strikeouts in 2.1 innings pitched. The five Tiger pitchers combined to strike out a team-season-high 14 batters. However, N.C. State stung the Tigers for nine hits in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position, as N.C. State scored nine of its 13 runs with two outs.

The Tigers grabbed the game's first lead in the first inning. Brad Miller led off with a single up the middle. Two batters later, Schaus laced a double to left-center to score Miller. Kyle Parker then ripped a liner that was headed for right field, but second-baseman Dallas Poulk made a diving catch to rob Parker of a hit and threw to second to double off Schaus for the inning-ending out.

N.C. State responded with two runs in the second inning to take the lead. Harold Riggins led off with a triple that centerfielder Chris Epps misjudged off the bat. Andrew Ciencin lined the next pitch to left field for a single to score Riggins. Ciencin went to second on the play when Schaus booted the ball in left. Ciencin advanced to third on Pratt Maynard's groundout to second. After Chris Schaeffer and Russell Wilson both walked on 3-2 pitches to load the bases, Matt Bergquist popped up in the infield for out #2. But Kyle Wilson walked on another 3-2 pitch to bring home Ciencin.

In the third inning, Miller belted a two-out single to right field and Mike Freeman followed with a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Schaus then hit a slow roller to third base on a check swing and reached on a single. Ciencin's throw to first was errant and Miller came around to score on the error to tie the score 2-2.

Kyle Wilson gave the Wolfpack the lead when he led off the top of the fifth inning with an opposite-field homer down the right-field line, his seventh long ball of the season.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Freeman flared a two-out double to center and scored on Schaus' long two-run homer to right field, his 14th long ball of the season, to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead.

N.C. State scored five runs on five two-out, run-scoring singles in the sixth inning to regain the lead. Schaeffer lined a one-out double down the left-field line and pinch-hitter Tarran Senay walked. After Senay was retired at second base on Bergquist's fielder's choice, Kyle Wilson bounced a two-out single over first-baseman Richie Shaffer to score Schaeffer. Poulk followed with a liner off the wall in right field for a single that plated Bergquist, then Drew Poulk, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 16 games, singled up the middle to score Wilson. Riggins kept the two-out rally alive when he grounded another single up the middle to score Dallas Poulk, then Ciencin lined a single to left-center to plate Drew Poulk.

Kyle Wilson hit a two-out single through the left side in the top of the seventh inning and Dallas Poulk followed with an opposite-field, two-run homer to left field, his 11th long ball of the year, to up N.C. State's lead to 10-4.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Miller lined a two-out double to left field and scored on Freeman's single to left field.

The Tigers cut further into the Wolfpack lead in the eighth inning. Parker led off with an infield single. Two batters later, Shaffer blooped a single to left-cetner. Two batters later with two outs, pinch-hitter Will Lamb belted a three-run homer to right-center, his third long ball of the season, to narrow N.C. State's lead to 10-8.

However, N.C. State answered with three runs of its own in the top of the ninth inning. John Gianis led off with a double down the left-field line. After Bergquist was unsuccessful on two bunt attempts, he singled to right field on an 0-2 pitch to advance Gianis to third. Kyle Wilson then hit a high flyball to right-center that fell for a single to plate Gianis. After Bergquist and Wilson moved up a base on Dallas Poulk's sacrifice bunt and Drew Poulk was intentionally walked to load the bases, Riggins lofted a sacrifice fly down the right-field line to bring home Bergquist as the other two runners moved up a base as well. Ciencin then grounded a single through the right side to score Wilson, but Parker threw out Drew Poulk at the plate to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Freeman drew a one-out walk and Schaus followed with a hit-by-pitch. But Parker struck out looking on a close pitch and John Hinson struck out swinging to end the game.

Kyle Wilson went 4-for-5 with a homer, four RBIs, four runs, and a walk to lead the Wolfpack, while Ciencin went 3-for-6 with three RBIs. Dallas Poulk went 2-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs, and two runs as well. The top-five batters in the N.C. State lineup combined to go 13-for-25 (.520).

Miller went 3-for-5 with a double and three runs for Clemson, who had 11 hits. Schaus went 3-for-4 with a homer, double, and three RBIs, while Freeman went 2-for-3 with a double, RBI, run, and two walks. Miller, Freeman, and Schaus, the top-three batters in Clemson's lineup, combined to go 8-for-12 (.667) with a homer, three doubles, four RBIs, and five runs.

N.C. State snapped Clemson's six-game winning streak in the series after the Tigers swept the Wolfpack in each of the last two regular-season series. The Tigers, who gave up their most runs in an ACC Tourney game since 1986, also fell to 17-11 all-time against the Wolfpack in ACC Tournament play.

Wednesday's game marked Clemson's first game in the city of Greensboro, NC since May 19, 1951, when Duke defeated the Tigers 5-0 in the Southern Conference Tournament.

Clemson will have a day off on Thursday before it plays No. 18-ranked and No. 6-seed Virginia Tech on Friday at 4:00 PM.

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