April 27, 2018
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 10 Clemson (32-11, 15-7 ACC) limited Virginia (24-18, 9-13 ACC) to five hits in a 3-2 series-opening win at Disharoon Park. The one-run decision was the Cavaliers fifth in their last six games.
After Tiger starter Jacob Hennessy was lifted after five innings, the bullpen trio of Spencer Strider, Ryan Miller and Ryley Gilliam combined for four scoreless frames. Gillliam worked around a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth by Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) and a stolen base by pinch-runner Jalen Harrison (Palmyra, Va.) for his eighth save of the season.
“That was a really good college baseball game unfortunately we came out on the wrong end of it,” head coach Brian O’Connor said. “We were able to scratch across two runs in the third but just couldn’t come up with the big hit in the back part of the game.”
Cavalier second baseman Andy Weber (Aurora, Ohio) collected two of the Cavaliers five base knocks on the night. He gave Virginia its only lead with a two-out single in the bottom of the third, plating Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.). Weber was 2-for-3 and collected his team-best 38th RBI. He ups his season batting average to .365 on the year.
The Virginia lead was short lived, as Clemson was able to knot the game up at 2-2 just two batters into the top of the fourth. Grayson Byrd led off the frame with a double down the left field line and scored on an ensuing single to center field by Kyle Wilkie. Later in the frame Clemson took the lead on an RBI ground out by Sam Hall.
Virginia reliever Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) came on in the seventh inning with a runner on second base. An intentional walk to Seth Beer, who homered earlier in the contest, put two Tigers on base with two outs. Abbott was able to escape with the first of his career-high, six strikeouts on the night. He fanned cleanup hitter, Chris Williams to end the threat. Williams came into the contest with 11 home runs, the fourth most in the ACC.
Cavalier starting pitcher Derek Casey (Mechanicsville, Va.) struck out six batters in 6.2 innings of work. The right-hander scattered eight hits and allowed three runs. The quality start was his team-best, seventh of the season. He’s pitched into the seventh inning in seven of his last eight starts.
Neither team committed an error in the game, the second-straight errorless game for Virginia and third of the season.
The two teams will square off again on Saturday (April 28) with first pitch slated for 4 p.m. The Cavaliers will have Daniel Lynch on the hill and he will be opposed by right-hander Brooks Crawford.
– Virginia drops to 10-7 in one-run games this season.
– Weber extended his reached base streak to 28 games with a single in the bottom of the first inning.
– Casey and Abbott combined for 12 strikeouts, the 27th time this season Virginia has struck out 10 or more batters in the game. The Cavalier pitching staff came into the weekend striking out 10.5 batters per game, the fourth-highest total in the country.
– Just before Beer’s home run in the third that bounced off the top of the fence and over, left fielder Charlie Cody (Chesapeake, Va.) robbed Logan Davidson of a long ball with a leaping grab at the wall.
– Freshman Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) recorded his third outfield assist of the year, cutting down Davidson trying to score on a fly ball to right in the top of the fifth. The double play ended the inning.
– Clemson racked up four doubles in the contest, the most by a Virginia opponent this season.