CLEMSON, SC --- While their bats were cold early, Clemson used a strong fourth inning to win first game of Saturday’s doubleheader over Georgia Tech, 4-1.
After three innings, it appeared that the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader between Clemson and Georgia Tech was going to be controlled by GT pitcher Connor Thomas.
Allowing just two first inning singles by Cromwell and Williams, Thomas would strikeout 5 Clemson batters through the first two frames.
Georgia Tech would strike first in the top of the third inning. Singles from Wade Bailey and Joey Bart put runners on first and second base with two outs on the board. Tristin English would step up with an RBI single to left centerfield scoring Bailey. Georgia Tech took the first lead of the game, 1-0.
Later in the fourth inning, Clemson would finally find an answer. Cromwell and Williams would get the bottom frame started with two singles and no outs. Robert Jolly then dribbled a grounder to the infield that GT pitcher Thomas would pick up and throw over to first, but the throw was off. Patrick Cromwell would score on the throwing error, and Jolly and Williams found a home on the corners.
Drew Wharton would then follow suit and join the party with a double down the right field line scoring both Williams and Jolly. A groundout by Justin Hawkins would advance Wharton to third base.
To bring home the final run of the inning, Kyle Wilkie would hit a sacrifice fly ball to bring home Wharton. Clemson led 4-1 after four innings.
To start off the fifth inning, Clemson would send out Spencer Strider to the mound, ending Brooks Crawford’s day. Crawford threw 4 innings, allowing 6 hits and 1 run, to go along with 1 walk.
Strider would be pulled after throwing 2.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and no runs to pair with 5 strikeouts. Carson Spiers would come in to finish out the game.
Leading up to the eighth inning, the two teams could not have played quieter baseball.
Seth Beer started the bottom frame of the eighth with a bang. On a 0-1 count, Beer nailed a solo shot to right field and the Clemson batting cages.
After the home run, Connor Thomas’ day came to an end. A career outing for innings pitched, Thomas threw 7 innings, allowing 7 hits and 5 runs, to go along with 9 strikeouts.
Patrick Cromwell and Chris Williams would once again keep things going for Clemson. After both hit singles to sit on the corners, Jolly brought home Cromwell on a sacrifice fly.
Drew Wharton would once again add to the mix with another double, moving Williams to third. Kyle Wilkie would later reach on a two-out error and Chris Williams would score. Clemson lead 7-1 after eight innings of play.
Georgia Tech started a small rally in the ninth inning, but the Tigers lead was too much. In the first action that the Yellow Jackets had since the third inning, Joey Bart smashed a two-run homer over the centerfield wall.
Clemson would close out the inning allowing no more damage, winning 7-3.
With the victory, Clemson moves to (14-1; 2-0 ACC) while Georgia Tech falls to (9-5; 0-2 ACC).
Monte Lee always achieved his 100th win in his third season with the Tigers.
Game 2 of doubleheader is scheduled for later this afternoon, weather permitting.