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Clemson falls to Georgia in 15-inning marathon

Carolina Ugolini San Martin
Nick Clayton pitched effectively from the 10th until the 13th, doing all he could to give the Tigers a chance to win the game.

In a contest that started on Tuesday evening and ended early on Wednesday morning, the Clemson Tigers lost to the Georgia Bulldogs 4-3. The matchup lasted 5 hours and 30 minutes, and the No. 5 Tigers’ record fell to 32-8 (13-5 ACC). In the game, 20 pitchers were used between both teams and over 500 pitches were thrown.

Clemson’s pitching staff was overall outstanding throughout the arduous game. The Tigers sent 10 players to the mound, holding the Bulldogs to four total runs and three earned runs over the 15-inning matchup.

The away team consistently worked their way out of jams, giving the offense countless opportunities to win the game. Righty Nick Clayton gave Clemson a chance with four scoreless innings out of the bullpen, starting in the 10th inning.

The Tigers held a 3-2 lead into the ninth, where their closer, Austin Gordon, had an opportunity to complete the two-inning save. However, he allowed one run in the frame, ultimately letting the game continue.

With a runner already aboard at first, the Tigers elected to intentionally walk Georgia phenom Charlie Condon, putting the tying run in scoring position at second base.

After a wild pitch from Gordon, the tying run moved to third and the winning run to second. During the same at-bat, Georgia’s first baseman, Corey Collins, singled to right field, scoring the run from third. Condon then attempted to score from second but was cut down by a perfect throw from Alden Mathes.

In the home half of the 15th inning, Clemson lefty pitcher Rocco Reid entered the game with runners on first and second with one out. The junior hit the first batter he faced, pushing the winning run to third base.

Reid brought Georgia right fielder Dylan Goldstein to an 0-2 count, then fired a pitch to the backstop, allowing the winning run to score on a steal and granting the Bulldogs a victory they will not soon forget.

Though the Tigers’ pitching and defense presented the chance to win, the Clemson offense finished the game with 11 straight scoreless frames.

Scoring opportunities were few and far between as the game neared a close — the Tigers acquired three base runners from the 10th inning on, two reaching via a walk.

Clemson’s offense was stronger at the start of the marathon when Blake Wright granted the Tigers their first lead of the ballgame.

In the visiting half of the third, he tripled to score two and erase a one-run Georgia lead. Wright drove the ball deep to right, just over Georgia’s Goldstein, allowing Jacob Hinderleider and Mathes to score easily from second and third base, respectively.

Shortly after, star sophomore Cam Cannarella extended the Tiger’s lead to two with a deep solo home run to right field, his seventh of the season.

However, the Tiger’s bats then went cold as they left the bases loaded in the fifth and ninth innings. Timely hitting became a common issue for Clemson beyond the fourth.

After the game, Clemson head coach Erik Bakich said, “We’ll move on, and we’ll get better from it. It’s a long game against a very good opponent. But we aren’t going to let this put any kind of negative sour taste in our mouths. We’re going to regroup, get better tomorrow, and get ready to go to Louisville.”

The Tigers will continue their season on the road Friday when they take on Louisville at 6 p.m.

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Tyler Skorski
Tyler Skorski, Senior Reporter
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