Although they didn’t get the start they wanted, Clemson found a way to avoid elimination against St. John’s on Sunday with a 9-8 victory.
After not throwing for nearly a month due to injury, Jacob Hennessy got the start for the Tigers. St. John’s got to him quickly though, hitting two home runs in the first to take a 3-0 lead.
Hennessey would be relieved, after allowing three runs off four hits, by Ryan Miller with one out in the third.
Clemson’s offense was quiet as a mouse until the fourth inning when Seth Beer broke up the no-hitter with a solo home run. The home run was Beer’s 56th of his career at Clemson. With the MLB draft next week, Beer leads all active Division 1 players in that category and trails only Jeff Baker (59), Andy D'Alessio (59), and Michael Johnson (58) in Clemson history.
With two runners on and one out in the sixth, Kyle Wilkie stepped to the plate for Clemson down 3-1. Wilkie roped a double into the leftfield gap, scoring both runs and tying the game at 3.
Drew Wharton joined the mix with a single through the left side to score Wilkie and give the Tigers their first lead of the game. Wharton would later score on a wild pitch, and Clemson held a 5-3 lead after six innings.
Into the seventh, with the bases loaded and two outs, Chris Williams scored two runs on a single to left.
St. John’s catcher Wyatt Mascarella lost a wild pitch in the dirt that allowed Wharton to score from second base in the eighth and extend Clemson’s lead to 8-3.
The Red Storm attempted a comeback in the bottom frame, but they were only able to plate one run.
Wharton singled with two outs in the ninth to score Seth Beer and Clemson's ninth run of the game.
Down to their final three outs, St. John's started the bottom of the ninth strong with a solo homerun by Mike Antico. The Red Storm wasn't going to let their season to end without a fight. Anthony Brocato nails a three-run home run to left that shortened the Tigers lead to 9-8. The comeback wouldn't be enough though.
Clemson advances to take on Vanderbilt tonight at 6 pm with elimination on the line once again.