Clemson University

Clemson baseball rallies past Winthrop in extra innings to remain undefeated

Monte Lee’s Clemson team faced Winthrop on Tuesday.
Monte Lee’s Clemson team faced Winthrop on Tuesday. online@thestate.com

Patrick Cromwell picked a good time for his first home run of the season.

Clemson’s third baseman hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to tie Winthrop at 8-8, and Kyle Wilkie delivered a walk-off single for the Tigers in the 10th as Clemson earned a 9-8 win against the Eagles to improve to 8-0.

The Tigers will return to action Friday night at South Carolina.

“Another crazy game here at Doug Kingsmore, come-from-behind fashion, extra-inning ballgame,” Tigers coach Monte Lee said. “Kyle Wilkie had a huge day for us today, had a big two-out hit in the sixth inning and, obviously, had the huge walk-off hit tonight. Patrick Cromwell hit one out there in the ninth inning, we’re down by one in the ninth inning and he tied the ballgame up. He hit one out of sight.”

Clemson trailed Winthrop 8-4 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before the Tigers rallied. Clemson scored three runs in the sixth to cut the lead to one, then added one run in the ninth and one in the 10th.

Mat Clark earned the win for the Tigers, striking out both batters he faced in the 10th.

Clemson’s bullpen held Winthrop to one run over the final six innings to allow the Tigers to rally. The Eagles did not score after the sixth.

“I can’t say enough about our bullpen. I know, obviously, our first couple of guys got hit a little bit … six innings and only gave up one run after a rough first couple of innings,” Lee said. “I’ve gotta give those guys a lot of credit for keeping us in the ballgame and giving our offensive guys a chance.”

Clemson got off to a fast start, scoring four runs in the first inning, including three on a homer by Chris Williams.

Winthrop rallied to score one run in the second, four in the third and two in the sixth to take a 7-4 lead. The Eagles added a run in the sixth to go ahead 8-4 before Clemson started crawling back.

Winthrop finished with 14 hits, led by Mitch Spires with three. Matthew Mulkey had two hits and two RBIs, while Hunter Lipscomb, Jake Sullivan and Alex Raines also had multiple hits.

Drew Wharton hit a solo homer for the Tigers, his fourth of the season, while Grayson Byrd and Wilkie joined Williams and Wharton with multiple hits.

“We need to be in these kind of games. We told our guys even when we were down by a few runs that this is what it’s like here. It’s going to happen, so you better get used to it, better get used to being behind here and there and finding a way to fight your way out of it,” Lee said. “I give my team a lot of credit tonight for finding a way to get it done.”

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