Needing a win to both end the season on the right foot and to give the selection committee a bit more to think about, Carolina beat Clemson 6-3 on Friday in Durham. The Tar Heels opened up a 5-0 lead to support a strong outing by J.B. Bukauskas. Trevor Kelley then came in to seal the game, throwing 3.1 strong innings of relief. The Tar Heel offense was led by Skye Bolt who hit a three run home run to ignite the Heels. Carolina also capitalized on four costly Clemson errors to put more distance between themselves and the Tigers.
Inning by Inning Summary:
J.B. Bukauskas took the mound for the home team Heels to start against Clemson. Tiger lead off hitter Eli White grounded out to third baseman Alex Rayburn to make the first out. Steven Duggar then came up and grounded out to second and Tyler Krieger did the same to end the inning and bring up the Heels. Carolina changed its lineup and designated hitter Brian Miller led off for Carolina with a fly ball right behind the pitcher's mound which Clemson third baseman Weston Wilson lose in the sun, dropping for an error and giving Miller first. Adam Pate then bunted Miller over to second before Tyler Ramirez flew out to center. That brought up Skye Bolt who struck out looking on three pitches to end the inning.
Reed Rohlman led off for the Tigers and struck out swinging before Chris Okey came up and also struck out swinging. Robert Jolly then came up for Clemson and struck out swinging to make Bukauskas perfect through two. Korey Dunbar led off for Carolina and drew a walk. Alex Rayburn then tried to bunt Dunbar over but missed, Dunbar took too large a secondary lad and was tagged out after a brief run down when the catcher threw to first. Rayburn ended up on first himself on a four pitch walk. Logan Warmoth then came up to bat and struck out but on strike three Rayburn stole second with help of an errant throw from the catcher Okey. Joe Dudek then came up to bat and struck out swinging to end the inning.
Weston Wilson led off for Clemson with a fly out to right field. Tyler Slaton then came up and flew out to center field before Andrew Cox came up and flew out to deep center to bring up Carolina. Elijah Sutherland then came up for the Heels to lead off with a strike out looking. This brought up the top of the Carolina order with Brian Miller who grounded out to the pitcher. Pate then grounded to short but the throw was off the bag and Tyler Ramirez faced Long with one on first and two outs. Ramirez beat out a throw to first on a soft grounder to second bringing up Bolt with men on first and second with two outs. Bolt launched a three run home run well over the right field wall to give Carolina a the lead. Dunbar then walked to bring up Rayburn who flew out to left to end the inning with the score 3-0 Heels.
White led off for Clemson and struck out swinging to bring up Duggar who also struck out swinging. Krieger then came up for the Tigers and singled to left to end Bukauskas' perfect game. Rohlman then came up and also singled to left to bring up Okey with men on first and second with two outs. Okey lined out to left field to end the top half of the fourth. At the break Clemson started to warm up relievers in their bullpen. Warmoth led off for the Heels with a walk before Dudek then struck out. On strike three Warmoth stole second, beating a tag by the short stop White. Sutherland then a came up for the Heels and flew out to right. This brought up Miller with two outs and a man on second. Miller strolled down to first after a four pitch walk and the starter Long was pulled for reliever Clate Schmidt. Pate then singled to left center to score Warmoth from second and advance Miller to third. Pate stole second uncontested before Ramirez walked to load the bases for Bolt. Bolt saw two balls before the Clemson pitching coach came out to talk to the embattled Schmidt. After the conference, Bolt walked scoring Miller and bringing up Dunbar. This ended Schmidt's day as Charlie Barnes came in to face Dunbar. Dunbar struck out to end the inning but Carolina extended its lead to make it 5-0.
Jolly led off for Clemson and hit a choppy grounder to first to make it one out. Wilson then came up and struck out looking before Slaton flew out to deep left to end the top of the fifth. Rayburn led off for Carolina and walked on five pitches. This brought up Warmoth to face Barnes and Warmoth hit a soft grounder to third for the out but he advanced Rayburn to second. Dudek then grounded out to first, advancing Rayburn to third and bringing up Sutherland with two outs and a man on third. Sutherland struck out looking on three pitches to end the inning.
Cox led off for Clemson with a fly out to center field before a White single to center. After the single, Trevor Kelley started to warm up for the Heels. Duggar was up for Clemson and he struck out looking while White stole second on the third strike. The brought up Krieger who singled to right field, scoring White from second and bringing up Rohlman with two outs and a man on second. After a first pitch ball to Rohlman Pitching Coach Forbes came out of the dugout to talk to Bukauskas. Rohlman then hit a single up the middle to advance Krieger to third and bring up Okey with runners at the corners. This ended Bukauskas' day and the Heels brought in Kelley. Kelley walked Okey on a wild pitch which scored Kriegar and put men at first and second with two outs. Jolly then came up and grounded out to second to end the half inning. Miller led off for the Heels with a fly out to right field bringing up Pate who lined out to center. Ramirez then singled to right bringing up Bolt with two outs and a man on first. Ramirez broke for second at the same time as Barnes went to pick him off. Barnes threw the ball in the dirt and it skipped past the first baseman Cox allowing Ramirez to make it all the way to third. Bolt then hit a high fly ball into shallow left field behind third that the short stop White had hit his glove and fall to the ground. Bolt made it to second and Ramirez scored, bringing up Dunbar with two outs and a man on second. The Clemson pitching coach came out and talked to Barnes before facing Dunbar. Dunbar struck out swinging and the inning ended with the score 6-2 Heels.
Kelley struck out Wilson to start the seventh before a diving Adam Pate caught a Slaton pop fly to make it two outs. Cox then walked on four pitches before the lead off hitter White hit a single to center. Bolt fielded the hit but then overthrew third attempting to get Cox and White advanced to second. This brought up Duggar with two outs and men on second and third. Coach Forbes visited Kelley and Spencer Traynor started to warm up for Carolina. Kelley got Duggar to strike out and end the half inning before the tigers could score. Rayburn led off for the Heels in the bottom of the seventh and grounded out to the pitcher. Warmoth then came up and grounded out to short before Dudek came up and hit a hard grounder that sneaked past the first baseman Cox allowing Dudek to hustle to second and beat a tag at the bag. Sutherland then came up as Dudek was pulled for pinch runner Brooks Kennedy. Sutherland then struck out to end the inning.
Zack Gahagan came in a first for the departed Dudek as Kelley faced Krieger to start the eighth. Krieger grounded out to Rayburn at third before Rohlman came up and hit a single to right center. This brought up the catcher Okey who hit a single to left, bringing up Jolly with one out and men on first and second. Jolly flew out to Pate in left before Wilson singled to left which plated Rohlman from second. This brought up Slaton with men on first and second with two outs.. Kelley struck him out to send the Heels up to bat with the score 6-3. Clemson sent Pat Krall in to face the top of the Carolina order with Ryan Miller leading off. Miller truck out swinging to bring up Pate who struck out before Ramirez flew out to deep center.
Cox led off for the Tigers and he flew out to right before White flew out to center to put Clemson on their last out. Duggar then grounded out to second base to end the game.