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Clemson Rallies, But Falls to Boston College in Game 1 of the ACC Baseball Tourney

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The loss adds another dent to Clemson’s NCAA Tournament resume, sets up big game with top seed Louisville

Most Valuable Prospects v Chicago White Sox Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

BC pitcher Mason Pelio started off a bit sloppy, but quickly regained his form to hold the Tigers to two runs in his six innings of work in Durham. Clemson looked to have Pelio’s number in the sixth, but were only able to manufacture a run with a sac fly by Kyle Wilkie.

BC relief pitcher Thomas Lane found himself in a seventh inning jam as the Tigers had bases loaded with two outs, with Grayson Byrd at bat. Byrd gave the ball a long ride, but it came up just short of the wall for out number three of the inning.

BC followed it up by getting their fourth homer of the day, this time off the bat of Bryan Dempsey, making it 5-2. Keep in mind this is a team that had hit just 29 homeruns during the entire regular season.

Lane walked Kyle Wilkie in the eighth and Wilkie advanced to second on a wild pitch and third off a fly ball. Davis Sharpe, after entering the game as a pinch hitter, then struck out swinging at a slider in the dirt. Sam Hall however, followed it up with a single off Matt Gill, ending Clemson’s 0-10 with RISP drought on the day and cutting the lead to 5-3. Gill then walked Jordan Greene and hit Bo Majkowski to load the bases for Michael Green. The Eagles brought in Joey Walsh, who gave up a two run single to Green to tie it up.

BC pitching played with fire a lot during the game, and the Tigers had finally cashed in on it. Logan Davidson flew out on the next at bat, but Clemson had new life going into the ninth.

Carson Spiers came in to retire all three batters in the ninth, getting some help from Majkowski to get out number two with a beautiful diving catch. Walsh returned the favor for BC, striking out Byrd, forcing Wilkie into a flyout, and striking out Chad Fairey to send the game to the tenth.

Bryan Dempson snuck a two out single through the middle of the infield, but a flyout to center field stranded him. With two outs, Jordan Greene pushed through a single and Bo Majkowski was hit for the third time on the third pitch he saw. A pitch got away from the BC catcher to put Greene at third, but Michael Green grounded out to second to end the inning. In Majkowski’s fifteen appearances against BC on the year, he’s been hit seven times.

After Spiers allowed a single and a walk, Peter Burns ripped a one out single to Fairey at first that took a tough hop and got away from him, allowing BC to score the go ahead run. BC tacked on another run via another single, ending Spiers’s day, with Holt Jones coming in to relieve him. Jones walked his man, Keyshawn Askew came in to strike out Colby Moissette, and Luke Sommerfield forced a fly out to strand the bases loaded and prevent BC from adding on to their 7-5 lead.

Logan Davidson lined out to short, then Grayson Byrd struck out for the third time of the day. Kyle Wilkie got caught looking to strike out, ending the game.

For the first time since 2010, Boston College wins an ACC Tournament game. For the first time since 2010, Clemson could miss the NCAA Tournament. D1Baseball.com had Clemson as one of the last five in the field going into this game. The Tigers will get a redemption shot on Thursday, with an 11:00 AM matchup against top seed Louisville.

The good news? Clemson took two of three from the Cards back in April. The bad news is that Louisville is playing some of its best baseball, and Clemson is not. The Tigers have an advantage of getting tomorrow off, while Louisville will face Boston College in the 11 AM slot. A Tiger win Thursday probably solidifies Clemson in the Tournament, whereas a loss could mean the end of the season. For all intents and purposes, this game feels like a must win for Clemson to continue its season. If not, Selection Sunday could be a long day for Clemson fans.