NO.4 CLEMSON LOSES 14-INNING HEARTBREAKER 6-5 TO NO.16 TENNESSEE, SNAPPING 17-GAME WIN STREAK
- 2023-06-04 13:44:00
CLEMSON, SC- What a gut-wrenching way to end a 17-game win streak! It was an incredible atmosphere at Doug Kingsmore--one of the best I've ever seen--with 6,297 packing the stands. Deshaun Watson was even in the house!
It was a pitchers' duel early, scoreless until the 4th when the Vols hit a 2-out solo HR off of Grice. The Tigers responded with a big 5th inning, though. Blackwell and Jarrell singled to lead off the inning. Then Cannarella hit a 3-run HR, his 7th of the season to give the Tigers their first lead, 3-1. Taylor singled with one out, and Grice helped himself out with a double to make it 4-1.
The Tigers had some opportunities go by the wayside with some big defensive put-outs by Tennessee, including a play at the plate in which Amick was thrown out. Grice pitched a whale of a game once again. He gave up a 2-our solo HR in the 7th to make it 5-2, but it was only the 4th hit he allowed. The last 4 HR's he gave up were all solo shots, going back to the ACC Tournament. He went 1-2-3 in the 8th with his 10th K and retired the first two batters in the 9th, his longest career outing. But after giving up back to back singles, Bakich brought the closer, Ryan Ammons, in from the pen. He was up 0-2 in the count, one strike away from the win, and gave up a 3-run HR on a 2-2 pitch to put the Vols ahead 5-4.
The Tigers didn't win 17 straight games for nothing, though! They responded under pressure in the bottom of the 9th with a leadoff double by Wright and a 2-out double by Cannarella to tie the game 5-5. It was Wright's first hit of the regional. He was 0-9 before that! That sent the game to extra innings.
The Tigers had bases loaded in the 10th with no outs, but Wright struck out and Blackwell grounded into a double play to keep the game tied. I asked Bakich after the game if he considered a safety squeeze play because Blackwell is a good bunter, and the pitcher had just walked a batter and hit a batter when they showed bunt. He said if the bases weren't loaded, he probably would have, but it was risky with the force at home.
The Tigers dodged a bullet of their own in the 12th. With bases loaded and one out, they got a double play to end the inning and keep the game tied. However, Cannarella was thrown out of the game for taunting one of the Vols' players on his way to the dugout. It was an egregious call in my opinion. In that situation, there is no call to eject a player for something like that, no matter what he said. He should have received a warning at worst. Cannarella was 3-5 with a HR, 2 doubles and 4 RBI's, including the game-tying, 2-out double in the 9th. Now he will be suspended for Sunday's game against Charlotte! The Tigers put everything on the line to win this game, using 10 pitchers, and you have to wonder how much they have left in the bullpen for Sunday.
Tallent gave up a one-out walk on full count and a double to give the Vols a 6-5 lead in the 14th inning, and that proved to be the game-winner. Taylor walked with one out and got to 3rd, but Crighton flied out to end the game.
The Tigers will face Charlotte, who they beat 9-5 back in February, on Sunday at noon on ESPN. Post-game interviews are below!
Never miss the latest news from CUTigers!
Join our free email list