Before Sunday a Clemson baseball team had not beaten Virginia in a weekend series since 2005. During that span the Cavaliers owned the Tigers, winning 21 of the 26 games between the two schools.
But none of that matters now. Clemson used seven strong innings from pitcher Pat Krall and got home runs from Logan Davidson and Andrew Cox as the ninth-ranked Tigers defeated No. 11 Virginia 12-1 to win the three-game series.
The win was the Tigers third over Virginia in the last four meetings, including last year’s 5-4 win in the ACC Tournament.
“I heard we struggled as a program against Virginia, but for me, it is big because it is a great program,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “We lost on Friday night and we found a way to win the series. As for what has happened in the past, I don’t get caught up in that. I try to preach to our guys that I believe we can compete with anybody. History does not dictate how we play.”
Krall (3-0) had his best outing of the year, as he held the Wahoos to one run, while scattering five hits. Virginia had runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings, but Krall pitched his way out of both jams.
In the sixth inning, the Cavaliers (15-5, 2-4 ACC) had runners on first and second with no outs, but Krall got Pavin Smith to fly out to left field. He then got Cameron Simmons to pop up to second base for the second out and Jake McCarthy to strike out swinging.
Virginia had runners on first and second in the top of the seventh inning with two outs, but he got Justin Novak to fly out to left field to end the threat.
“I just left my last couple of performances in the past and I just loved being out there,” Krall said. “I caught myself a couple of times just smiling and being in the moment and just really love playing the game. I really did not do that on my last couple of outings. For me it was just falling back in love with the game and letting that other stuff take care of itself.”
While Krall was having his best outing since going the distance in a win over NC State on May 8 of last year, he got plenty of help from his friends at the plate. Clemson banged out 14 hits while scoring in all but one inning, including a five spot in the bottom of the seventh.
Logan Davidson, who was 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs, hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to give the Tigers’ a 4-0 lead at the time. He also doubled in the seventh inning to score Drew Wharton, who had two hits on Sunday.
Andrew Cox hit a solo home run in the fifth inning that gave Clemson (16-4, 5-1 ACC) a 5-1 lead at the time. Cox finished the game 3-for-5.
Jordan Greene, who had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two runs, had RBI singles in the second and seventh innings. He finished the day 3-for-6 at the plate.
Seth Beer had a two-run single in the seventh inning. Chris Williams also brought in a run with a two-out hit in the bottom of the first inning.
“It is unbelievable to beat a team like that in a series, especially after losing a tough Friday night game,” Krall said. “To come back and beat a team like that is something special. It shows how great our team is and how we have come together.”
Clemson will play at the College of Charleston on Tuesday. First pitch on Tuesday is set for 6:30 p.m.