Clemson has its first ACC sweep of the season as Caden Grice struck out eight hitters in six innings of work and the offense pounded out 15 hits to lead the Tigers past NC State 8-5 on Sunday in Raleigh.
Grice allowed four earned runs on five base hits, while improving to his record to 3-1 on the season.
Casey Tallent, Rob Hughes and Tristan Smith each pitched an inning of scoreless relief out of the bullpen. Smith pitched around one hit in the ninth to record his second save.
For the third straight game the Tigers got on the board early and often. Riley Bertram led off the second with a single back up the middle. He would steal second and move to third on a throwing error before coming home on a fielders choice off the bat of Jack Crighton for a 1-0 lead.
Clemson would then push across five runs in the third. After Cam Cannarella and Cooper Ingle both reached to start the inning, Will Taylor laced a double down the right-field line that scored both runners. Caden Grice then singled up the middle, driving in Taylor, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead. Grice would end up coming around to score on a bunt by Bertram and the Tigers plated one more run on a wild pitch to take a 6-0 lead.
The Wolfpack would get on the board in the bottom of the third. A throwing error and two walks by Grice loaded the bases with just one out. LuJames Groover III then drove a 1-1 pitch to deep left for a sacrifice fly before Grice struck out Jacob Cozart to end the inning.
Cannon Peebles would then launch a 2-run shot out to left in the fourth that cut the Clemson lead to 6-3.
The Tigers would push the lead back to four runs in the fifth, as Benjamin Blackwell blooped a two-out single to shallow right that scored Bertram, giving Clemson a 7-3 advantage. However, the Wolfpack would get the run right back in the bottom half of the inning, making it 7-4.
Cannarella would hit his fourth home run of the season to lead off the sixth, a solo shot to the opposite field, to put the Tigers right back up by four runs at 8-4. NC State would again get the run right back as Peebles would add his second long ball of the day in the bottom half of the inning to make it 8-5.
Cannarella, Ingle, Taylor, Blackwell and Bertram all had multi-hit games for the Tigers. Ingle now has a 12-game hitting streak.
Clemson has now won nine of its past twelve games and moves to 24-16 overall and 9-9 in ACC play. The Wolfpack drop to 25-14 and 8-12.
Player of the Game: Cannarella just keeps plugging along at the top of the lineup. The freshman was 3-for-5, driving in one run and scoring two more. He is now hitting .404 on the season. His fiery demeanor was on full display on his solo shot in the sixth, as he emphatically stomped on home plate, while having words with the NC State catcher.
Key Moment: After Peebles hit his second home run of the game in the sixth to once again pull NC State to within three runs, Grice came right back to get a ground ball out before striking out the next two hitters to keep the Wolfpack at bay.
Stat of the Game: After going 6-for-18 with runners in scoring position over the first two games, Clemson hitters once again came up clutch, going 5-of-13 in the series finale.
Up Next: The Tigers will return home and play host to Kennesaw State in midweek action on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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