MAT CLARK ALLOWS POWERFUL WAKE OFFENSE JUST FOUR HITS AND ZERO EARNED RUNS IN 6.2 INNINGS AS CLEMSON WINS 4-3
- 2019-05-16 22:13:22
CLEMSON, SC - The Tigers moved one game ahead of Wake at 14-14 with a 4-3 win on Thursday night to open their last series of the regular season. They were just 3-10 in one-run and extra-inning games before going 2-0 this past week at No.16 NC State and tonight. Both wins were by a score of 4-3, which is the fewest runs the Tigers have allowed against a Power Five team since their historic 20-inning 3-2 loss at No.4 UGA a month ago.
Mat Clark improved to 8-2 and was the sharpest he has been in over a month. He missed a couple weeks due to a sore arm, and after starting the season 7-0, he suffered two losses and a no-decision. Against one of the best offenses in the nation in Wake Forest--the Deacs came into the game 7th in the Power Five in runs scored--Clark allowed just 4 hits and zero earned runs in 6.2 innings, striking out 9.
Byrd continued to knock the cover off the ball, hitting his 13th HR of the season and 8th in the last 11 games! Bryar Hawkins also hit a solo HR, his 7th of the season. The Tigers jumped over the Gamecocks on the national HR list and are now 6th in the Power Five, one behind Wake and two behind Arkansas.
The Tigers nearly gave the game away with a costly 2-out error by Hall at 2nd that led to 2 Wake runs and got the Deacs within one run, but Spiers was able to get the job done with 2.1 scoreless innings to earn his 11th save. A sac bunt RBI by Wilkie on a safety squeeze proved to be the difference in the game, which is a pleasant change of pace for the Tigers. They are one of the best HR-hitting teams in the nation but have struggled to execute small ball and manufacture runs when needed at times this season.
The Tigers and Deacs will play game 2 Friday at 6:00 with ACC Tournament seeding on the line. Davis Sharpe, who recorded a no-decision in the 10-inning 4-3 win at No.16 NC State last week, will start on the mound after finding himself out of the lineup in the last 5 games. I asked Monte about that, and he said it's in part because his offensive production had diminished and others were hitting well, but it has even more to do with the fact that they need his very best on the mound because pitching rather than hitting has been the team's weakness over the past month.
Post-game interviews with Monte, Clark, Byrd and Spiers are below!
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