By Trey McCurry.
Sixth-ranked Virginia scored four runs (three unearned) over the last two innings and came-from-behind to defeat #4 Clemson 8-7 Saturday in front of 5,374 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. With the win, the Cavaliers win the series and move to 15-1 on the season and 2-0 in the ACC. Clemson falls to 7-5 overall and 0-2 in the ACC.
Whit Mayberry, the third of four Virginia pitchers, earned the win in relief tossing 2.0 innings of two-hit, one-run ball. Branden Kline pitched the final inning for the Cavaliers to earn his sixth save of the season. Alex Frederick, the third and final Tiger pitcher in the game, suffered the loss as he allowed one run on two hits in 1.2 innings. Clemson starter Will Lamb pitched 4.0 innings, allowing six hits, four walks, and four runs. Scott Firth had a solid outing as he pitching 3.1 innings and only allowed three hits but three unearned runs.
The Cavaliers opened the game with a single run in the top of the first inning. John Barr hit a one-out double and came in to score two batters later when Ryan Levine singled through the left side.
Clemson wasted no time responding with a run in the bottom of the inning. Brad Miller hit a one-out single up the middle and was able to move around to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Miller was able to score when Jeff Schaus singled over the first-base bag and tie the game at one.
Virginia went ahead in the top of the fourth as they used four hits to plate three runs and take a 4-1 lead.
Clemson answered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Miller hit another one-out single and scored two batters later when Richie Shaffer lined a two-out homer into the left field grandstand. Shaffer’s third homer of the year cut the Cavalier’s lead to 4-3 after six innings.
Clemson took its first lead of the series with a four-run seventh inning. Lamb singled to start the inning and Spencer Kieboom followed with a walk. Addison Johnson then laid down a beautiful sac bun on an 0-2 pitch and was able to reach on an bad throw, a play that also Lamb to score from second. After a Jason Stolz sac bunt advanced Kieboom and Johnson, Chris Epps bounced a single up the middle to plate both runners and put Clemson ahead. After a Miller out, Schaus belted a double to the left-center gap to score Epps and give Clemson a 7-4 lead going to the eighth inning.
In the eighth, Virginia used three very costly Tiger errors to chase Firth from the game and tied the game at seven.
After Clemson was unable to get anything going in the bottom of the inning, Virginia was able to push a two-out run across to give the Cavaliers a 8-7 win.
Miller went 3-for-5 with two runs for the Tigers, while Schaus went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. The seven runs scored by the Tigers were the most allowed by the Cavalier pitching staff so far this season as coming into the game Virginia had not allowed more than four runs in a game all season.
The Tigers will look to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow in a 1:00PM contest at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.