Crazy Ninth Inning Propels Clemson to Series Clinching Win Over Virginia Tech

Clemson broke a tie ballgame by pushing across five runs in the top of the ninth and then held on to knock off Virginia Tech 9-8 on Saturday in Blacksburg. The win clinches a sixth consecutive ACC series for the Tigers.

With the game tied at 4-4 Cam Cannarella and Cooper Ingle led off the ninth with back-to-back hits. Will Taylor drove in Cannarella with an infield single and Billy Amick follwed that up by driving in Ingle with an RBI double, giving the Tigers a 6-4 lead. A bases loaded walk later in the inning pushed across another run and Benjamin Blackwell would then drive in two more with a one-out single to make it 9-4.

Chris Cannizzaro and Garrett Michel hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth to pull Virginia Tech to within 9-7. Eddie Eisert would add a pinch hit RBI single to pull the Hokies within a run. With still only one out and runners on the corners, Clay Grady then hit a ground ball to second and the as the Tigers tried to turn a double play, the runner at second was called out on interference for running into Riley Bertram to end the game.

With the win, Clemson has now won seven straight and improves to 34-17 overall and 16-10 in ACC play. The Hokies drop to 29-18 and 11-14.

Carson DeMartini’s solo homer in the third put Virginia Tech up 1-0. It was DeMartini’s 10th long ball of the season and second of the series.

The Tigers would come right back, putting up a crooked number in the top of the fourth. Caden Grice drove in a run with an RBI single. Riley Bertram had a two-out single that drove in two runs and Blake Wright added a two-out RBI double to make it 4-1 Clemson.

The Hokies came right back in the bottom half of the inning as Christian Martin drove in two with a bases-loaded double off the wall in center, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

Virginia Tech would tie it up in the sixth. After Demartini doubled to lead off the inning, Brody Donay drove him in with an RBI single after a 10-pitch at bat. The score would remain that way until the ninth.

Player of the Game: Nick Clayton gave the Tigers three strong innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit. The righty came on after the Hokies seemed to have all the momentum after tying it up in the sixth and got the first three hitters he faced, and stranding an inherited runner in the process.

Stat of the Game: The Tigers struggled to come up with the clutch hits in the first eight innings. They had some opportunities but were just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. In the ninth inning alone, Clemson went 4-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

Up Next: These two teams wrap up a three-game weekend series on Sunday, with first pitch set for 3 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACCN, as Clemson goes for its second consecutive ACC sweep.

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