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Clemson defeats Winthrop 9-8 in 10 innings

Daniel Green, Contributor

Patrick Cromwell (25) hit the game-tying homerun in the Tigers’ extra inning victory over Winthrop on Tuesday.

Clemson remained perfect on the season with an extra inning victory over Winthrop on Tuesday night.
The Tigers continued their trend of striking early. Logan Davidson led off the first inning with a walk and he and Patrick Cromwell came around to score on a Chris Williams bomb. That gave Clemson a 3-0 lead. Drew Wharton, picking up where he left off against Dallas Baptist, then hit his fourth homerun in as many games to increase the lead to 4-0.
Sam Weatherly, in his second career start, struggled early. He managed to work out of a jam in the first inning without giving up any runs, but wasn’t as lucky in the second and third. In the second, Alex Raines hit a single to score the Eagles’ first run.
In the third, Weatherly let two on base with one out. Seth Beer then dropped a fly-ball in right field that led to a bases loaded jam. Head Coach Monte Lee pulled Weatherly in favor of Travis Marr. Marr promptly gave up four consecutive base hits, allowing Winthrop to take a 5-4 lead.
By the end of the third, The Eagles had out-hit the Tigers 9-2. Marr lasted .2 innings, giving up six hits and two runs.
“We told our guys even when we were down by a few runs … you better get used to it, better get used to being behind here and there and learning how to fight your way out of it.”
Ryan Miller entered the game to try and stop the bleeding. He pitched 4.0 innings, giving up just one run on two hits. He did walk three while only striking out two, but he kept the Eagles in check and kept the Tigers in the game.
“Ryan Miller is often the unsung hero of our pitching staff,” Lee said. “He comes in and puts fires out and keeps us in the ballgame.”
The Tigers came roaring back in the sixth. Down 8-4, Williams led things off with a single. After Jolly grounded out, Wharton delivered a RBI double. RBI singles from Grayson Byrd and Kyle Wilkie made it a one-run game.
In the ninth, Patrick Cromwell hit a no-doubter over the Cajun Cafe (375 feet according to Clemson Baseball) to tie the game at 8-8. It was his first homerun of the season.
“I put a good swing on it,” Cromwell said. “I don’t hit many that are no-doubters, they are usually first row, but I had a pretty good feeling that one was out as soon as I hit it.”
The Tigers couldn’t get the wining run in the ninth, so the game went to extras.
In the bottom of the tenth, Wharton was walked to start the inning, and moved to third on a well executed slash. Wilkie later drove him in with a RBI single.
When asked about his big game, Wilkie said, “It’s always fun to hit a walk-off … I just told myself to just keep working.”
“In a lot of those games, they played better than we did, but we just found a way to win,” Lee said about Winthrop’s performance.
The Tigers take on in-state rival South Carolina this weekend. The first game of the series is Friday at 7 p.m. in Columbia.

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