Tristan Bissetta’s two home runs carry Clemson over UNC Greensboro

Sophomore Tristan Bissetta made his first start a memorable one.

Batting ninth and playing right field, the local product out of Greenville’s JL Mann High School hit his first collegiate home runs in a 9-5 Clemson victory over UNC Greensboro Saturday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Tigers, ranked ninth in this week’s USA TODAY Sports’ baseball coaches poll, improved to 12-1 this season.

Bissetta hit his first home run in the fourth inning off reliever Hunter Shuey to give the Tigers a 4-2 lead.

In the sixth, Bissetta went deep again, launching another opposite field home run off Shuey that just cleared the wall in left to extend the Tigers’ lead to 5-2.

Jimmy Overtop (3-for-4) had three hits, including a two-run single with two out in the sixth to make it 7-2.

The Tigers added some insurance in the eighth when Blake Wright launched a long home run to left. It was Wright’s fourth home run and put the Clemson lead back to five at 9-4.

Clemson totaled 14 hits in Saturday’s game. Cam Cannarella was 3-for-5 atop the order, and Bissetta, Wright and Alden Mathes each had two hits apiece.

Freshman Nolan Nawrocki, who’s earned the starting job at third base, also had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games to open the season.

For the second straight day, Clemson fell behind early. The Spartans (8-6) jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Mathes tied the game with a two-run double to the gap in right-center in the third inning.

UNC Greensboro starter Jay Miller (0-1) lasted only 3 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out one in the loss.

Sophomore Tristan Smith made his fourth straight Saturday start and earned his first collegiate win. Smith (1-0) pitched five innings, throwing right at 100 pitches. He allowed two runs on one hit and four walks with six strikeouts.

Rob Hughes closed out a shaky ninth inning in relief of Ty Olenchuk, who opened the frame by hitting the first two batters he faced. Hughes allowed one hit and struck out two of the four batters he faced in his fifth appearance of the season.

Game 3 of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT. Freshman right-hander Aidan Knaak (1-0, 5.14 ERA) will start for Clemson against UNC Greensboro’s Rob Ready (1-0, 3.77). The game will be streamed on ACC Network Extra (ACCNX).

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire