Baseball

Clemson’s hopes to advance remain alive

Junior left-hander Zack Erwin kept fifth-seeded Clemson's hopes for advancement alive, at least temporarily, as he allowed only six hits and one run over eight innings and shut down top-seeded Louisville 7-2 on Thursday in the second day of pool play in the ACC baseball tournament.

Clemson (32-26) cuffed around Louisville ace Kyle Funkhouser (7-5), a first-team All-ACC pick, in the first two innings, bunching five hits and capitalizing on an infield error to score five runs. Reed Rohlman drove in two runs with a first-inning single, and after a double by Chris Okey, Robert Jolly dropped a pop fly single into center field to make it 3-0.

Tyler Krieger had two hits, including an RBI single in the second that made it 5-1, and Weston Wilson doubled with the bases loaded in the fifth to drive in two runs off Funkhouser, who surrendered nine hits and seven runs, five earned, in five innings.

Clemson will play North Carolina at 3 p.m. Friday in its final pool game. Louisville, which remains in contention for the championship, wraps up pool play against Florida State at 11 a.m. Saturday. Clemson can only advance if Florida State loses to UNC in the late game Thursday.

Star of the game: Erwin (7-4), who has won five of his last six starts, tied a season high with 11 strikeouts and did not walk a batter. He has issued only 13 walks to go with 90 strikeouts in 101.1 innings this season.

Observation

Top-seeded Louisville (43-15) fell into an early four-run hole for the second day in a row, and this time it proved too much for the Cardinals to overcome. They trailed North Carolina 4-0 after two innings Wednesday but rallied to win 7-4.

Erwin said he mixed in more off-speed pitches, especially early in the count, to keep the Cardinals off balance. “The last time I pitched against them, I gave up 11 hits, mostly on first-pitch fastballs,” he said. He stranded two runners in scoring position in both the second and third innings.

  Comments