By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
After taking a week off for exams, what’s another day? At least that’s the way it appeared 14th-ranked Clemson was doing Saturday in Game 1 of its three-game series with Maryland.
Both the Tigers’ pitching and hitting slept through most of the game as the Terrapins rolled through Doug Kingsmore Stadium for a 7-2 victory. Maryland had 14 hits, while starting pitcher Jimmy Reed held Clemson to four hits in eight innings of work. He had 11 strikeouts.
“We look like we were still taking test,” Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. “We did not have any rhythm at all. We look like we have never seen live pitching.”
The Tigers (30-15, 15-10 ACC) were never on from the start. Starting pitcher Daniel Gossett struggled out of the gate, especially in the second inning when he gave up three runs thanks to two hits, a walk, a wild pitch and hit a batter. Gossett also suffered from a passed ball.
After Gossett’s wild pitch scored the game’s first run, the Terrapins got a two-out single from Charlie White to score the second run and then Gossett walked in the third run.
Maryland’s Kyle Convissar hit a solo home run to left field to start the third inning for a 4-0 lead, while also ending Gossett’s afternoon. Clemson’s ace finished the day by giving up four runs on five hits. He threw 63 pitches in 2 1/3 innings of work.
“He was off rhythm today for some reason,” Leggett said. “He has been better than that for us and hopefully next time out he will be better. He just did not have it today. It was just one of those days.”
Maryland (28-21, 9-16 ACC) took a 5-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Jordan Hagel drilled a Jonathan Meyer pitch to left field with one out.
The Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning when Shane Kennedy hit a two-run blast to straight away centerfield to make the score 5-2. It was Clemson’s first home run since April 14 when Steven Duggar hit a two-run shot to right field in the 11th inning to beat Wake Forest.
“It felt great. You never know with centerfield being 400 feet and on top of that it was raining outside,” Kennedy said. “I think I got lucky and hit it into maybe the gust of wind there.”
But Maryland put the game away in the top of sixth inning when Jack Cleary doubled off the wall in left field to score Convissar and Kevin Martir for a 7-2 advantage.
“The guy just outpitched us and they out hit us,” Leggett said. “They were better than us today.”
Clemson and Maryland will attempt to play Game 2 Sunday at 1 p.m.