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Virginia outpitches Clemson and takes series 2-1

Casey Harman
Casey Harman

Clemson's starting pitching went toe-to-toe with Virginia's and we fell just short. Every game was a pitching duel  and we just couldn't get a hit with runners on base. Any worries about our pitching staff are dispelled now.

The defense let us down too.

On Friday night, Harman went against Danny Hultzen and matched him. Harman went 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 3 runs and walked none, while striking out 2. After giving up a solo homer to Tyler Cannon in the 1st he settled down and retired UVA batters in order in the 2nd and 3rd, and only an error by Lamb stopped him from doing so in the 4th.

In the 5th John Barr led off with a single up the middle, before Stephen Bruno homered to LF to make it 3-3, and thats how it stayed until the bottom of the 9th. They had to earn it against one of our best out of the pen, and they did. Haselden pitched a solid 8th but Jarrett Parker led off the 9th with a single and a bunt got another runner on after Hinson picked it up as it was going foul. Another sac bunt got the runners to 2nd and 3rd and Jack called for an intentional walk to load the bases and pitch to Bruno, who singled over Hinson's head for the score.Bruno led Virginia's nine-hit attack by going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.  4-3 final.

Clemson managed to handle Hultzen better than expected, getting 8 hits and 2 walks out of him in 6 innings. However, we couldnt get runners home all night and we couldnt handle Tyler Wilson out of the pen.

Schaus, Parker, and Lamb had two hits apiece for Clemson, who had nine hits in the game. However, Clemson stranded 10 runners on base, including seven in scoring position, and only scored three of its 13 baserunners during the first seven innings.

Sunday's game was moved to Saturday due to the threat of rain, and we split the doubleheader. In game 1, Will Lamb (3-0) allowed 5 hits and 2 runs (1 earned), walking 2 and striking out 2.

Virginia jumped on top with a run in the 3rd after Bruno singled and a bad throw on a pickoff got him to 3rd. A sac fly by Gosselin made it 1-0.

Clemson answered with 2 in the 5th against Robert Morey. Epps led off with a 2B and Freeman reached on a long misplayed bunt and Epps got to 3rd. Jeff Schaus's RBI single tied it up. Kyle Parker then bunted directly to the pitcher, who threw out Freeman at 3rd. Schaus then scored on a single by Boyd.

Virginia put up the tying run in the 6th during a double play after a passed ball advanced the runner to 3rd base, but couldn't score again until Tomas Cruz came in and tried to lose the lead he was given. Thankfully Jack pulled him out early enough and Clemson added much-needed insurance runs in the 9th to make it 8-5 final.

Addison Johnson had two hits and two RBIs to pace Clemson's nine-hit attack. Hicks had two RBIs to lead Virginia, who had 10 hits in the game. Jeff Schaus added 2 hits in 4 ABs along with an RBI.

On Sunday Clemson got 12 baserunners and scored only one of them in the 1st inning. Scott Weismann (3-1) pitched well, but not as well as Cody Winiarski.  Winiarski worked out of several jams while allowing six hits, one run, and four walks with four strikeouts. Kevin Arico pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to record his eighth save of the season. An RBI single by Kyle Parker in the 1st was the only dent in the scoreboard for us.

Lamb, a pinch-hitter, hit a one-out single up the middle in the ninth inning to bring the potential tying run to the plate, but Arico retired the next two batters to end the game. 3-1 Final.

Gosselin had a team-high two hits to lead the Cavaliers. Parker went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Clemson, who outhit Virginia 7-6. Boyd's 14-game hitting streak also came to an end. Clemson stranded 9 runners on the night.

In the three-game series, all three starting pitchers went 7.0 innings. They combined to allow just 16 hits (.211 opponents' batting average), seven earned runs (3.00 ERA), and two walks with seven strikeouts against a team that entered the series with a batting average of .354.

Clemson hitters went the other direction, particularly the top of the lineup.. Chris Epps' slump continued, going 1-for-15 in the series as the leadoff hitter. His average is now back below .200. Mike Freeman went 2-for-13 in the series no runners were getting on at the top of the order to get home. 

Wilson Boyd went 2-for-11 and Miller 1-for-8. Schaus and Parker did alright in the 3-4 spots, with Schaus going 5-for-13 with 2 Runs scored and an RBI, and Parker going 4-for-12 with 2 Runs and an RBI.

The losses put us at 1-4 on the week.

It doesnt get much easier when we face a ranked Coastal Carolina squad Wednesday. We host Boston College this weekend.