Grice’s Grand Slam Propels Clemson to Series Clinching Win Over NC State

Caden Grice hit a go ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, propelling Clemson to a 9-7 come-from-behind series clinching win over NC State on Saturday in Raleigh. It was Grice’s ninth home run of the season and the slugger now has 33 RBI.

Ryan Ammons came on to pitch the final two innings, allowing just one run, to pick up his first save of the season.

For the second consecutive night, Clemson put up a crooked number in the first inning. After Cam Cannarella and Cooper Ingle reached to lead off the game, Will Taylor drove in both with a double down the left-field line. Blake Wright would later drive in Taylor on a fielders choice and Riley Bertram added an RBI hit that gave the Tigers the early 4-0 lead.

The Wolfpack would claw their way back into it, plating three runs in the fourth. Austin Gordon would allow a leadoff homer to Will Marcy, then after the next three hitters reached safely, the Tigers went to the pen and brought in Nick Clayton. After striking out the first hitter he faced, Clayton would walk the next two, as NC State pulled to within a run at 4-3.

The Wolfpack would add three more runs in the sixth thanks to a bases loaded triple by Jacob Cozart off the wall in right-center that gave NC State its first lead of the series at 6-4.

The Tigers would come right back with a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Billy Amick, before Grice’s heroics in the eighth.

Cozart would add a solo home run for the Pack in the ninth for the final margin.

With the win, Clemson has now won eight of its past eleven and moves to 24-16 on the season and 8-9 in ACC play. NC State drops 25-13 overall and 8-11 in league play.

Player of the Game: Without question, the honor goes to Grice. After going hitless in his first eight bats of the series, his grand slam gave the Tigers its third consecutive ACC series win. Two of those coming away from home. The ball traveled 441 feet and had an exit velocity of more than 110 mph.

Key Moment: With his team trailing by a run Grice came to the plate in the eighth with the bases loaded and two down. The slugger would launch a 1-2 pitch out to right for the grand slam. It was his first hit of the series and his ninth long ball of the season.

Stat of the Game: In his first 15 appearances this season, Clayton had issued more than one walk just once. He had issued just seven free passes all season. On Saturday, he walked five Wolfpack hitters.

Up Next: The same two teams will face off in the third and final game of the weekend series on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ACCNX, as the Tigers look for their first ACC series sweep.

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