Tigers dominate opener to crucial final ACC series over Eagles

Clemson put together a complete effort to take game one of a crucial final ACC series (Clemson athletics photo).

CLEMSON – One must-win down, two to go this week for Clemson baseball.

Fighting to qualify for a pair of postseason tournaments, Clemson topped Boston College (19-32, 5-23) 15-1 on Thursday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

With Duke losing its series opener at Virginia Tech on Thursday, the Tigers (33-21, 11-16 ACC) can clinch a spot in the ACC Baseball Championship field with a win or another Blue Devils loss on Friday, but listed as one of last the projected teams in the NCAA Tournament by both D1Baseball.com and Baseball America this week, any loss to a triple-digit-ranked RPI team such as Boston College (No. 106 as of game-time) could spell doom for Clemson’s NCAA Tournament odds. Clemson carried a No. 23 RPI going into the game.

In the midst of a 16-hit Tigers’ night, Caden Grice put together a big effort out of the 9-spot in the lineup.

With Clemson down 1-0 to the Eagles after 2 1/2 innings, Grice launched a pitch 412 feet up and over the right field wall to even things up.

With two outs, Max Wagner then made his way around the bases to give Clemson its first lead via a walk, stolen base and a Cooper Ingle RBI single. Ingle returned to the lineup for the first time in five games after being pulled due to injury against College of Charleston last week.

With two down again in the fourth inning, Grice dropped an RBI double in the left field. Benjamin Blackwell added to the Tigers’ advantage in the inning with an RBI single.

Chasing school history, Wagner blasted his 25th home run of the season to center field in the fifth frame. He is now two home runs off of the single-season school record (27, Khalil Greene in 2002) and tied for second in the same stat (with former Tigers Jeff Baker, Michael Johnson and Kris Harvey).

Righty Clemson starter Mack Anglin (6-5) largely avoided trouble on the night to scatter five hits, allowing a lone earned run with seven strikeouts to three walks to earn the win.

He received even more insurance in the seventh inning with runs coming from singles via Blake Wright and Bryar Hawkins‘bats, and a fielding error at shortstop.

In all, the Tigers received multi-hit efforts down the lineup from Blackwell (2), Wagner (2), Ingle (3), Corbitt (2), Hawkins (2) and Grice (3), with Hawkins and Ingle each bringing in three runs.

Clemson has won seven in a row and 10 of the last 11 at home.

Game two of the series has a 3 pm first pitch on Friday. Clemson softball also starts its NCAA regional next door on Friday with the Tigers’ game at noon and the other regional matchup at 2:30 pm


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