By R.L. Bynum
Without star center fielder Vance Honeycutt and a rough outing for right-hander Max Carlson, it was a long night in Clemson for North Carolina.
The No. 7 Tigers scored six runs of Carlson in the first two innings and rolled to a 14–7 victory Thursday over the Tar Heels at Doug Kingsmore Stadium for their 10th consecutive victory. UNC didn’t go down quietly, though, scoring four runs and getting six of its 15 hits in the ninth inning.
UNC’s hopes of winning the ACC Coastal Division title ended with the loss, but the Tar Heels (33–20, 14–12 ACC) will try to rebound Friday night and Saturday to improve their NCAA resume. Carolina will have to play better defense after committing four errors in the opener.
Honeycutt is dealing with a lower-body injury and is day-to-day, leading Mac Horvath to start in center field. Horvath went 0 for 3 to have his career-high 10-game hitting streak snapped.
Carlson (4–2) gave up a career-high 10 hits in 3⅔ innings, giving up six runs and walking two while striking out two.
Clemson (37–17, 18–10) jumped out to a lead with two outs in the first inning when Will Taylor beat out an infield single, then Cayden Grice hit a two-run home run to right field. The Tigers made a rout of it with four runs in the second inning on three singles, a double and two Carolina errors.
Third baseman Johnny Castagnozzi cut UNC’s deficit in half with a two-run homer run to center field in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth.
UNC could come no closer, and finished the game without using its top relievers.
Clemson DH Billy Amick led off the fifth inning with a solo home run off UNC reliever Kyle Percival, who gave up four hits and four runs (three earned) with two strikeouts in one inning.
Tigers third baseman Blake Wright hit a three-run homer in the five-run sixth inning and a two-run home run in the eighth inning, both off Carolina reliever Will Sandy.
Sandy pitched the final three innings, giving up three hits, three runs and three walks while striking out four. It was his longest outing since going 3⅔ innings against Seton Hall on Feb. 18.
Carolina sent 10 batters to the plate in the ninth inning and scored four runs on Carter French’s RBI single, Reece Holbrook’s RBI groundout, a Clemson error and Patrick Alvarez’s RBI single.
It was Alvarez’s first game since fracturing his left hamate bone on April 13.
NOTES — A pair of right-handers start Friday’s second game, which streams on ESPN3 at 6 p.m., with UNC junior Jake Knapp (4–3, 4.78 ERA) opposing Clemson sophomore Austin Gordon (1–4, 4.72 ERA). In Saturday’s 1 p.m. finale (ACC Network), Clemson will start junior left-hander Caden Grice (6–1, 3.60 ERA) and Carolina hasn’t named a starter. … Redshirt freshman right fielder Casey Cook walked twice to extend his on-base streak to 41 games. … Clemson pushed its advantage in the all-time series with UNC to 103–96–1, including 51–32–1 in games at Clemson. … UNC had won the previous four meetings. … Carolina fell to 5–15 in games against teams currently ranked in the D1 Baseball Top 25.
No. 7 Clemson 14, UNC 7
|No. 21 Virginia||19–11||—||44–11||W9|
|No. 11 Miami||18–12||1||37–18||W2|
|No. 16 Duke||16–13||2½||35–19||L2|
|No. 1 Wake Forest||22–7||—||45–9||L1|
|No. 7 Clemson||20–10||2½||39–17||W12|
|No. 22 Boston College||16–14||6½||34–17||W2|
No. 7 Clemson 14, UNC 7
N.C. State 7, Pittsburgh 2
No. 1 Wake Forest 6, Virginia Tech 3
No. 21 Virginia 12, Georgia Tech 5
Notre Dame 5, Boston College 1
No. 16 Duke 5, No. 11 Miami 3
Louisville 7, Florida State 4
No. 7 Clemson 5, UNC 4
Boston College 7, Notre Dame 2
Boston College 8, Notre Dame 4
N.C. State 17, Pittsburgh 8
No. 1 Wake Forest 7, Virginia Tech 5
No. 21 Virginia 10, Georgia Tech 6
Florida State 7, Louisville 4
No. 11 Miami 10, No. 16 Duke 8, 11 innings
No. 21 Virginia 8, Georgia Tech 7
No. 7 Clemson 3, UNC 1
N.C. State 8, Pittsburgh 2
Florida State 6, Louisville 2
Virginia Tech 14, No. 1 Wake Forest 6
No. 11 Miami 10, No. 16 Duke 1
END REGULAR SEASON
ACC tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park
|17||Friday||10–8 L||Seton Hall||Home||0–1|
|18||Saturday||11–2 W||Seton Hall||Home||1–1|
|19||Sunday||4–2 W||Seton Hall||Home||2–1|
|24||Friday||6–5 L||No. 15 East Carolina||Greenville||4–2|
|26||Sunday||6–5 L||No. 15 East Carolina||Home||4–3|
|4||Saturday||7–5 W||Stony Brook||Home||8–3|
|5||Sunday||15–4 W||Stony Brook||Home||9–3|
|8||Wed.||15–5 W||Penn State||Home||11–3|
|10||Friday||7–3 L||No. 11 Virginia||Home||11–4,|
|11||Saturday||8–4 L||No. 11 Virginia||Home||11–5,|
|11||Saturday||6–0 W||No. 11 Virginia||Home||12–5,|
|15||Wed.||16–2 W||High Point||Home||14–5|
|17–7 W||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||15–5, |
|21||Tuesday||6–4 W||N.C. A&T||Home||16–5|
|23||Thursday||6–3 W||Duke||Home||17–5, |
|24||Friday||8–5 L||Duke||Home||17–6, |
|25||Saturday||5–3 W||Duke||Home||18–6, |
|28||Tuesday||12–7 L||No. 9 Coastal Carolina||Home||18–7|
|31||Friday||10–8 W||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||19–7, |
|2||Sunday||5–2 W||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||20–7, |
|2||Sunday||9–1 L||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind||20–8, |
|4||Tuesday||5–0 L||South Carolina||Charlotte||20–9|
|6||Thursday||8–1 W||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||21–9, |
|7||Friday||10–6 W||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||22–9, |
|7||Friday||8–4 L||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||22–10, |
|13||Thursday||5–4 L||No. 8 Miami||Home||23–11, |
|9–8 W, |
|No. 8 Miami||Home||24–11, |
|15||Saturday||4–3 L||No. 8 Miami||Home||24–12, |
|Boston College||Home||25–13, |
|22||Saturday||9–4 L||Boston College||Home||25–14, |
|23||Sunday||6–2 L||Boston College||Home||25–15, |
|28||Friday||7–0 L||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||26–16, |
|29||Saturday||12–8 W||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||27–16, |
|29||Saturday||13–7 W||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||28–16, |
|2||Tuesday||6–5 L||No. 11 Campbell||Home||28–17|
|3||Wed.||2–1 W||No. 15 East Carolina||Greenville||29–17|
|11||Thursday||9–8 W||N.C. State||Home||31–17, |
|12||Friday||9–3 W||N.C. State||Home||32–17, |
|13||Saturday||12–2 W||N.C. State||Home||33–17, |
|16||Tuesday||8–6 L||No. 9 Coastal Carolina||Conway, S.C.||33–18|
|18||Thursday||14–7 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–19, |
|19||Friday||5–4 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–20, |
|20||Saturday||3–1 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–21, |
|23||Tuesday||11–5 W||Georgia Tech||Durham||34–21|
|25||Thursday||10–2 W||No. 11 Virginia||Durham||35–21|
|27||Saturday||10–4 L||Semifinal vs.|
No. 3 Clemson
|Terre Haute Regional|
|2||Friday||5–4 L||Iowa||Terre Haute, Ind.||35–23|
|3||Saturday||5–0 W||Wright State||Terre Haute, Ind.||36–23|
|Iowa||Terre Haute, Ind.||36–24|
Photo via @ClemsonBaseball