Clemson baseball is without freshman Cam Cannarella for Sunday’s NCAA tournament elimination game against Charlotte after the center fielder was ejected in the 13th inning against Tennessee Saturday night.
Cannarella was tossed from Saturday’s 14-inning, 6-5 Tennessee win after appearing to say something to Vols third baseman Zane Denton between the top and bottom of the 13th inning.
With the game tied at 5-5 in the top of the 13th, Tennessee had the bases loaded with one out. The Tigers turned a double play, ending the Vols' scoring threat.
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As Cannarella was running in from center field, he appeared to say something toward Denton, and Cannarella did not take his place in the batting order in the bottom half of the 13th.
When the broadcast realized what had happened, ESPN analyst Kyle Peterson voiced his displeasure with the ejection.
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“You cannot do that, not for that. I mean these kids have played 13 innings,” Peterson said. “Again, like you want to take emotion totally out of this game, that’s how you’re going to do it. If they’re going back and forth a little bit, they’re both going their own way, so be it. But there’s zero, zero way that you can throw a kid out for doing that.”
Both teams were issued a warning earlier in the game after there was some chirping back and forth, Clemson head coach Erik Bakich said in his postgame press conference.
“I didn’t see what happened. I didn’t see it,” Bakich told reporters. “Our guys didn’t know what was going on either. But the explanation was that something he said was directed to the other team. And so they ejected him for it.”
Cannarella was suspended for Sunday’s game against Charlotte, Bakich confirmed.
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The ACC Freshman of the Year had a monster game on Saturday, going 3-5 at the plate with four RBIs.
Cannarella launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning and sent the game into extra innings with his two-out double in the ninth.
The winner of Sunday’s game between Charlotte and Clemson will play Tennessee at 6 p.m. ET, with the Vols needing to lose two consecutive games in order to be eliminated from the college tournament.