Starter Caden Grice went five plus innings as No. 16 Clemson pushed its winning streak to eight games with a 9-6 victory over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Sunday. The win gives the Tigers a second consecutive sweep in ACC play.
Grice moves to 6-1 with the win after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits, while striking out five. He also issued four walks. Tristan Smith came on to record the final out with two runners aboard to pick up his fourth save.
Billy Amick, Riley Bertram and Blake Wright all drove in multiple runs for a Clemson team that has now won 18 of its past 22 games.
The Tigers improve to 35-17 overall and 17-10 in ACC play while Virginia Tech falls to 29-19 and 11-15.
After loading the bases in the top of the first, the Tigers got on the board early as Bertram drove in Cam Cannarella and Ingle with a two-out single back up the middle to give Clemson a 2-0 lead.
Virginia Tech would come right back in the bottom half of the inning, as Christian DeMartini continued to feast on Clemson pitching with an RBI single that cut the lead to 2-1.
The Hokies would tack on two more runs in the second, getting two-out RBI hits from Garrett Michel and Carson Jones to take a 3-2 lead.
Clemson would retake the lead in the third. Billy Amick drove in a run with a one-out single. Then with two outs, Wright drove in two with a double to left and Benjamin Blackwell followed that up by driving in Wright with a single, making it 6-3 Tigers.
Clemson would extend its lead to 7-3 in the fourth when Cannarella scored from third on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Grice.
A solo shot by Ingle with two outs in the sixth, his sixth long ball of the season, pushed the lead to 8-3.
The Hokies would get a run back in the bottom half of the sixth. Lucas Donlon bounced a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield off of reliever B.J. Bailey, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 8-4.
Clemson would get the run right back in the top of the seventh, as Billy Amick launched an opposite field solo shot out to right for his tenth home run of the season.
The Hokies weren’t done, though, as they responded with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. After loading the bases. two runs would come home on an infield single by Christian Martin and a throwing error by Amick. Reid Garris would come out of the bullpen to record the final out and strand Hokie runners at second and third.
Player of the Game: Amick just continues to mash in the middle of the lineup. The sophomore was 3-for-4, including the home run, while driving in two runs and scoring two more. He also worked a walk and reached base four times. He is now hitting .413 on the season with 10 home runs and 41 RBI.
Stat of the Game: The Tigers did leave the bases loaded in the ninth, but in the first eight innings they only stranded five runners total and were 6-of-16 with runners in scoring position.
Up Next: Clemson returns home to host USC Upstate on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ACCNX.
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