College Sports

Duke completes sweep of Clemson as Tigers drop 7th straight game

Clemson coach Monte Lee recaps ‘tough day at the ballpark’

Tigers dropped sixth consecutive game, falling to Duke
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Tigers dropped sixth consecutive game, falling to Duke

Clemson baseball coach Monte Lee spoke Saturday afternoon about wanting to see more fight from his team after the Tigers dropped their second consecutive game against Duke.

The Tigers showed plenty of fight in Sunday’s series finale, but it still wasn’t enough.

Clemson rallied from an 8-2 deficit to tie the game at 8-8 before ultimately falling 9-8 against the Blue Devils in the final game of the three-game series. The loss is the seventh consecutive loss for the Tigers, marking the longest losing streak for Clemson since 2008.

Matt Mervis hit the game-winning home run for the Blue Devils (24-16, 11-10), leading off the ninth inning with a solo homer to give Duke a 9-8 lead.

Clemson (25-15, 11-10) nearly tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning but Kyle Wilkie was robbed of a home run by Duke left fielder Kyle Gallagher, who made a leaping grab to pull back what would have been a homer. Later in the inning the Tigers had a chance to win the game with a walk-off homer, but Davis Sharpe’s drive to deep left field was caught at the wall by Gallagher to end the game.

Duke led 8-2 heading to the bottom of the fifth inning thanks in part to some shaky defense by the Tigers.

Clemson made two errors in the first five innings with both of them leading to runs.

But the Tigers rallied in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring six runs to tie the game at 8. The big blast was a grand slam by Justin Hawkins for his first home run of the year. Still, it wasn’t enough as Clemson’s losing streak continued.

Jacob Hennessy got the start for the Tigers and allowed five runs, four earned, in three innings of work. Carson Spiers suffered the loss, allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings.

Clemson returns to action Tuesday night when it hosts Winthrop at 6 p.m.