Freshman Spencer Strider held Coastal Carolina hitless through six innings and Clemson avenged a walk-off loss to the Chanticleers with a 6-1 win Tuesday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
Clemson got four home runs from Chris Williams, Jordan Greene, Logan Davidson and Grayson Byrd, and five Coastal pitchers walked nine batters, allowing Clemson to score its six runs on six hits in front of an over-capacity crowd of 6,450.
Coastal defeated the Tigers 9-5 on March 20 on Lee Sponseller’s ninth-inning grand slam in the first game of a home-and-home series that is expected to continue for the coming years between the baseball powers at opposite ends of the state.
Coastal (21-10), ranked 18th in the country by Baseball America, is 10-45 all-time against the eighth-ranked Tigers (23-6) and fell to 5-34 at Clemson. The Chants have been more competitive in recent years against the Tigers, splitting the past four games and going 4-7 in the past 11 games against the Tigers since 2010.
Clemson was coming off a three-game sweep of Boston College to improve to 8-4 in the ACC, and the Chants lost their second straight including taking two of three from Georgia Southern over the weekend to improve to 8-1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
Tuesday’s loss was just the third of Coastal’s 10 this season that came by more than two runs.
Strider (3-0), from Knoxville, Tenn., gave up one run on two hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to earn the win.
Coastal finished with just three hits and left the bases loaded in a ninth inning that featured a leadoff double by Cory Wood, walk by Seth Lancaster and two-out hit-by-pitch by Sponseller. Kieton Rivers, who knocked in CCU’s only run, grounded out to end the game.
Coastal got two of its three hits and scored its lone run in the seventh on Rivers’ RBI single that scored Zach Biermann, who had walked.
But the inning could have been more damaging had Sponseller not run into an out following his single to right field, as he was caught between first and second with Biermann on second base and was thrown out. Rivers was also caught stealing to end the inning.
The Chants produced little else on offense. Clemson centerfielder Drew Wharton made a nice running catch against the wall in left-center to rob Matt Beaird of extra bases leading off the third, and Lancaster walked with an out in the fourth but was caught stealing.
Freshman Shaddon Peavyhouse (1-3) made his first career start and went three innings, allowing just one run and one hit – a leadoff home run in the second inning by Williams – and four walks with two strikeouts.
Freshman lefty Trevor Damron relieved in the fourth and gave up back-to-back home runs to left field in the fifth, a two-run Greene homer out of the No. 9 spot following a walk and solo shot by Davidson. The Tigers held a 4-0 lead with just three hits.
Clemson added two runs in the seventh to answer Coastal’s lone run on Byrd’s homer and an RBI double by Seth Beer.
Patrick Orlando, a sophomore at CCU who played at Carolina Forest High, entered with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and got a fly out to end the inning, and didn't allow a baserunner in 1 1/3 innings. Conway High product and sophomore lefty Jay Causey also pitched well, throwing 1 2/3 innings without allowing a hit while striking out two.
The Chants ended a five-game road swing and begin a three-game conference series against South Alabama at 5 p.m. Friday at Springs Brooks Stadium.