What. A. Game. What started out as an embarrassing 10-0 deficit after 1.1 innings for the Tigers turned into an eight run victory, as Clemson defeated the Furman Paladins 23-15 in a four hour and 42 minute battle. The 26 runs marked the most runs scored by the Tigers since beating Wake Forest 26-1 back in May of 2006. With the win, Clemson's last regular season non-conference game, the Tigers improved to 28-25 on the year, while the Paladins fell to 23-29.
The Paladins took a 10-0 lead after scoring three runs in the first inning and then seven more in the second. Clemson leads the ACC in errors with 84, and they added six more tonight that largely contributed to that early deficit. However, it did not take long for the Tigers to start chipping away at the lead. In the third, Chris Okey, who went 3-for-6 with a career-high five RBIs, belted his first of two homers, and Reed Rohlman, who tied his career-high four RBIs, added a two-run double in the fourth. The Tigers kept the momentum going in the fifth and sixth, adding six more runs in the two frames partially courtesy of a Tyler Krieger two-run single and Okey's second long ball.
Clemson finally tied the score 11-11 in the sixth, as they scored three more runs after the Okey blast. The Paladins then retook the lead by a run in the bottom of the frame, but the Tigers put the game away by plating eight runs in the seventh inning, one in the eighth and three in the ninth.
The Tigers totaled 22 hits in the matchup and were led by Krieger, who went 4-for-6 with three RBIs. Clemson also got 15 walks and two hit-by-pitches from the 11 pitchers that Furman sent to the mound during the game.
Pat Krall (2-3) earned the win, pitching 1.1 perfect innings in relief and following up a solid performance from Charlie Barnes. Barnes gave up only two runs (neither earned) on two hits, coming in with one out in the second inning to relieve a struggling starter Clate Schmidt, who gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on eight hits in 1.1 innings.
Clemson concludes the regular season this weekend in Tallahassee, Florida as they take on the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles. The critical conference series starts on Thursday at 6 p.m., and Clemson needs at least one win in order to clinch a spot in next week's ACC Tournament.