CLEMSON — It is becoming a little unfair.
It seems when No. 4 national seed Clemson has two outs, it still finds a way to get the job done. Case in point, Friday’s 12-5 victory over Lipscomb in the opening game of the NCAA Clemson Regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers were 7-for-15 with two outs and drove in nine of their 12 runs with two outs.
“They hit the ball really well,” said Lipscomb pitcher Logan Van Treeck. “They are obviously an offensive squad. Facing them, they are tough outs. Every out is tough. You have to have your stuff ready. You have to be able to locate.
“They did their thing today.”
Coincidently, Clemson (44-17) opened the scoring with a two-out two-run bomb from All-American Caden Grice in the bottom of the first inning and then closed the scoring with All-American Billy Amick’s grand slam in the eighth, which also came with two outs.
“It all comes back to our training and what we have been preparing for since Day 1 of fall (practice),” Grice said. “We have really bought into the idea that we are never out of the fight, regardless if there is one out, two outs or no outs. We just keep pushing and keep going.
“I said earlier, we have a one through nine punch and we are squared away from all sides. It is really free to hit in our lineup like that, so I think that is a really a big key for us.”
Besides Grice’s two-run shot and Amick’s grand slam, the Tigers also got a two-out double in the fifth inning from Riley Bertram that plated two runs and an RBI single up the middle by Cooper Ingle in the eighth which scored Benjamin Blackwell on the play.
Clemson plated all five runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break open what was once a close game. The Tigers did the same thing to Miami in the bottom of the seventh inning in the ACC Championship Game last Sunday.
“Credit to our offense for sticking with it and being really tough with two outs,” Clemson head coach Erik Bakich said. “We were really tough with two outs. I don’t know what the final stat line was, I think it was 7-for-15 with two outs.
“We got a bunch of two-out RBIs.”
The Tigers hope they get some more on Saturday when they face the winner of the Charlotte-Tennessee game on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the winner’s bracket.
–photo by Blake Abercrombie
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