Old habits die hard and on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on the Clemson campus the Clemson Baseball team reverted to some bad habits.
Clemson had two runners picked off and another misread a routine fly ball and trailed the Binghamton Bearcats 1-0 headed to the bottom of the 8th.
Even more concerning was these were mistakes by veteran players, not the freshmen in the lineup and against a better team, in a different situation, could have easily cost Clemson the game.
That was not the case on this day as a three-run bottom of the 8th allowed and some clutch relief pitching by freshman Tristan Smith.
Cooper Ingle led off the inning with a walk and after a Caden Grice double moved him to third with no one out, yesterday’s hero Blake Wright drilled a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1.
Freshman Cam Cannarella doubled down the left field line to give Clemson the lead and after moving to third on a Benjamin Blackwell flyout, Cannarella scored what turned out to be a very important run on a wild pitch.
After getting the first out in the 9th, closer Willie Weiss ran into control problems and was lifted after walking two batters on 8 pitches.
In came true freshman Tristan Smith, who was not in awe of the job ahead. After giving up a single to left to make it 3-2 and putting the tying run in scoring position Smith smoked Zac Taylor and Logan Haskell to earn the save.
The Tigers were limited to 6 hits on the day, but got another outstanding start as Austin Gordon allowed a single earned run in 5.2 innings, giving up 5 hits while striking out 2 and walking 0.
Clemson Baseball starters have given up 2 runs and struck out 11 without a walk in 10.2 innings in first two games
Clemson starters have 11 strikeouts and 0 walks over 10.2 innings in the first two games of the series.
The series concludes Sunday at noon on ACC Network Extra with Jay Dill on the mound for the Tigers.