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Clemson baseball loses game one against Wright State

DOUG KINGSMORE STADIUM, CLEMSON, SC — The Clemson Tigers dropped their fourth straight game on Opening Day, Feb. 17 against Wright State University.
The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead with 2 RBIs from new players. Second baseman Grayson Byrd brought in Logan Davidson in the second inning and then Davidson hit a single to left to bring in Seth Beer in the third.
The Raiders tied things up in the fifth with three straight hits that brought in two runs off the bat of JD Orr.
Most of the damage came in the seventh inning when the Tigers’ defensive woes began to set it. With a 3-2 lead, Clemson gave off a leadoff single that was later erased by a fielder’s choice. The runner left on base by that choice would come around to score off an RBI single from Orr. Orr was later brought in by Gabe Snyder.
These runs, though tough to overcome, were not the real problem in the inning. With freshman catcher Kyle Wilkie behind the plate due to the injury to Chris Williams, an error on the throw pickoff attempt at second allowed Snyder to take third base. Just a few plays later, Snyder scored on a passed ball, totaling three runs in the inning.
“[Wright State] made us pay when we made mistakes,” Head Coach Monte Lee said after the game.
The Tigers were able to get another run across in their half of the seventh but were unable to capitalize on their big opportunities. The Tigers left a total of 12 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth inning after a Beer strikeout and Weston Jackson groundout.
“I think that was the difference in the ballgame. We just couldn’t come up with that big hit with runners in scoring position,” Lee said. “The bottom line is we have to do the little things.”
The young Tiger players were the highlight of the night – the first game of the series – going a combined 7-for-18 on the night at the plate. Tyler Jackson earned the loss with 1.2 innings pitched and two earned runs.
“I thought they did an unbelievable job … seeing them swing the bats the way they did today was a special thing,” Lee said of the young Tigers, specifically Davidson and Byrd.
The new Tigers enjoyed their first game in a Clemson uniform.
“It was a pretty special opening day, coming out here to play with a solid group of guys … it was an awesome feeling,” Davidson said.
The Tigers will face the Raiders in game two of the series on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. 

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