Clemson’s late grand slam spoils Coastal’s comeback

ccubase-clemIn a game that featured seven home runs (four by Clemson and three by Coastal Carolina) it was the last one, a grand slam by Tiger sophomore Seth Beer in the eighth, that proved to be the difference as #12 Clemson (38-15) rallied to beat #24 Coastal (34-19-1) 11-8 Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Coastal trailed 7-1 through five innings before coming back taking an 8-7 in the top of the eighth. Then in the home half of the eighth, Robert Jolly drew a leadoff walk and Matt Byrd reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. A sac bunt moved the runners to third and second. Coastal intentionally walked Reed Rohlman to set the stage for Beer’s grand slam.

Coastal got multiple hits from each of its first five batters, including three from Billy Cooke and two each from Jordan Gore, Kevin Woodall Jr., Wood Myers and Kieton Rivers.

Woodall doubled and hit a home run, which moves him to eighth on the CCU single-season list, tying G.K. Young, David Sappelt and Jeremy Santanas. Woodall also extended his Sun Belt lead in both home runs (18) and RBI (55). Cooke also doubled and hit a home run, giving him a team-best 15 doubles and his 10 home runs rank second on the team. It was Cooke’s third home run in his last four games.

Coastal had some bad luck in the first inning on a great play made on a CCU hit-and-run. Then, in the bottom of the first, Logan Davidson hit a leadoff home run for the 1-0 lead. The Tigers pushed their lead to 2-0 after two singles and RBI double by Weston Jackson. Josh Crump saved two runs as he made a diving catch in left-center field for the third out.

Clemson made it a 3-0 game in the second. Grayson Byrd singled, moved to second when Rohlman was hit by a pitch and scored on a Beer single to left.

The Chanticleers got on the board with a tally in the fourth. Woodall hit a leadoff double, took third on Myers ground out and scored on a Rivers RBI ground out. However, Clemson responded in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run by Rohlman to make the score 5-1. The Tigers used another two-run home run in the fifth, this time by Jackson, to go up 7-1.

Woodall accounted for runs 2, 3 and 4 with a three-run home run in the sixth. The inning started with a Billy Cooke double and Jordan Gore singled. Woodall sat on a 3-1 fastball and launched it over the 360 marker in left-center field for a three-run home run. On the next pitch (by new Clemson pitcher Jacob Hennessy), Myers cranked a solo shot to right field for his sixth round-tripper of the year. It marked the second time CCU has hit back-to-back home runs this season and Woodall hit the first of two both times.

Cooke cut the CCU deficit to one, 7-6, when he hit a 2-out, solo home run in the seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Coastal picked off a Tiger runner at third base for the final out. The Chants rode that momentum into the top of the eighth. Myers and Rivers had back-to-back, one-out singles. Seth Lancaster lined a double to the right-center field gap to score both Chants for an 8-7 lead. However, Beer’s hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth to give his squad an 11-8 lead.

Jason Bilous (3-2) was the tough luck loser in relief. He pitched the final three innings and seven of his nine outs came by strikeout. He allowed four hits, four runs (three earned) and three walks. Anthony Veneziano started and worked the first five innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs.

Coastal Carolina will close the 2017 regular season with a three-game series with Appalachian State at Springs Brooks Stadium. Games are set for 2 pm Thursday, 6 pm Friday and 1 pm Sunday.

Photo courtesy of CU Athletics

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