Tigers Blow Ninth Inning Lead, Fall to Duke In Series Finale

CLEMSON, S.C.- The Tigers just seemed to run out of pitching on Sunday.

After taking a one-run lead into the top of the ninth, Clemson pitching just couldn’t hold it, as Duke pushed across five runs to beat the Tigers 11-8, giving the Blue Devils the series win.

“Extremely disappointed, but it just goes to show you the razor thin margin for games like this,” head coach Erik Bakich said. “Razor thin between winning a series and losing a series. A couple of different plays here and there, and this could have been a potential sweep, but we are walking out now losing the series with no excuses.”

Cooper Ingle’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth gave Clemson a 7-6 lead heading into the final frame, but Jay Beshears would hit a towering solo home run with one out off of Billy Barlow to tie it up. Damon Lux would add a 3-run shot off Tyler Olenchuk later in the inning to give the Blue Devils the comfortable four run cushion.

Clemson would add a run in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Blake Wright for the final margin.

The Tigers got on the board first, plating a run in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Duke would respond with two in the fourth and two more in the fifth to go up 4-1.

Caden Grice and Riley Bertram each drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth to cut the lead to 4-3, then in the sixth, the Tigers scored three more times, highlighted by a 2-run double from Nathan Hall, giving Clemson a 6-4 advantage.

It would be short-lived as the Blue Devils’ Luke Storm launched a 2-run shot out to right-center in the eighth to tie the score right back up at 6-6.

“When we got the hits we didn’t have the bullpen help here in game three,” Bakich said.

Caden Grice got the start for the Tigers, allowing four runs in four innings. He struck out six but also walked three.

Clemson drops to 12-8 on the season and 1-2 in ACC play.

“There’s a lot of season left, but we need to get some things figured out and figured out quick,” Bakich said.

Player of the Game: Cam Cannarella was 2-5 with a double and two runs scored. The freshman continues to be the spark plug for the Clemson offense.

Key Moment: With the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth, Cooper Ingle found himself down 0-2 with the go-ahead run on second. He laced a single through the left side to put the Tigers up. The pitching just couldn’t hold it.

Stat of the Game: After racking up 29 hits over the first two games of the series, Clemson managed only nine on Sunday.

Up Next: The Tigers will host Winthrop on Tuesday before hitting the road to face Kennesaw State on Wednesday.

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