Kent Klyman and Joe O’Donnell dominated Clemson over the last 5.1 innings, surrendering just one hit and fanning five, as NC State came from behind to complete the road sweep over the Tigers. Will Wilson’s second home run of the game, a solo shot in the eighth, proved the difference in the 5-4 final.
Wilson, who was 6-for-12 in the series, homered in the top of the first to give the Wolfpack a brief 1-0 lead. Logan Davidson answered with a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the first on the first pitch he saw from Nick Swiney. The blast tied the game and was the first extra base hit in the series for Clemson, which managed just one run in the first two games.
Clemson took the lead off Swiney, State’s freshman lefty, with two more in the second. Swiney didn’t get an out in the frame before being relieved by Nolan Clenney. Clenney settled things down, going two shutout innings.
Josh McLain evened things up at 3-3 in the third with a two-run homer, but Clemson came right back to take the lead on a two-out Kyle Wilkie RBI double off Evan Justice in the fourth. The score came after a two-out boot by J.T. Jarrett that extended the inning and was thus unearned. Justice was replaced by Klyman, who went 2.1 hitless innings.
Klyman was down in the count 3-1 to Drew Wharton with one out in the sixth. The Tiger batter flipped his bat and trotted to first after thinking he had ball four on a 3-1 pitch that was right down the pipe. Klyman sat him down on the next pitch (which was probably off the plate but it’s a bad idea to show up the ump), and shouted him down on Wharton’s walk back to the bench. He then blew three straight past Grayson Byrd and went Randy Johnson level of pumped, drawing some Clemson players and coaches off the bench to protest. Order was restored without any physical altercations or ejections, and I, for one, love every minute of that emotion from the sophomore lefty.
State had tied the score in the top half of the sixth inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Brad Debo grounded into a double play that pushed home the tying run but squelched the rally.
O’Donnell came on in the seventh and after cruising along for two frames made things a little interesting in the ninth. He gave up a one-out single and, an out later, went 3-0 on a Clemson pinch hitter, but he came back to induce a 5-3 groundout to Dillon Cooper, who had a nice day with the glove at the hot corner, to end the game.
The Pack, who do not play a midweek game, host Georgia Tech next weekend and will welcome the Ramblin’ Wreck with a 5-1 mark in the ACC; that’s good for first place in the Atlantic in the early going. The Tigers were the only team to make it through the opening weekend unscathed but now find themselves 3-3. Georgia Tech took two of three from Virginia Tech this weekend to get to 2-4 in league play after it was swept by the Tigers last weekend.