In what has become all to common, the Clemson baseball team was unable to get timely hits when they needed them most. The Tigers left 10 men stranded as Winthrop came into Doug Kingsmore and handed Clemson its eighth-straight loss on Tuesday night, 8-6.
After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first, the Tigers came back and scored 5 of their own in the bottom half of the inning. They did it on just two hits, taking advantage of 4 walks issued by Winthrop pitching.
The offense could muster only 6 hits the rest of the way though, and Winthrop was able to slowly chip away at the lead. The Eagles got one run in the 3rd and one in the 6th to tie the game. They added two more in the 7th to take the lead and then an insurance run in the 8th.
Keyshawn Askew could only get through 3 innings, and while he struck out 4 batters, he allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and a walk. Luke Sommerfield was called on to relieve Askew to start the 4th, pitching the next 3 innings and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits. He gave the team exactly what it needed in that spot by chewing up some innings and holding the lead.
Up a run at 6-5, Monte Lee then looked to Owen Griffith to start the 7th. Just like Friday night against Duke, free passes would be Griffith's, and ultimately the teams, undoing. After retiring the leadoff hitter, Griffith walked the next batter, hit the next one, then gave up a 2 run single that gave Winthrop a 7-6 lead. He lasted just one third of an inning, giving up the two runs on 1 hit and 2 walks, in taking the loss (1-2).
Clemson would have a golden opportunity in the bottom half of the 7th, but couldn't take advantage. Down just the one run, they loaded the bases on three consecutive two out walks, but Adam Hackenberg watched 3 straight called strikes go by without ever swinging the bat to end the inning, and the Tigers would never threaten again.
Clemson drops to 25-16 (11-10), and now sits all the way down at #41 in RPI, while Winthrop improves to 24-16 (12-6 Big South).
The Tigers are right back in action tomorrow night at home against Tennessee Tech 17-21 (5-13 OVC), with first pitch at 6pm.