Clemson wins series over Cardinals despite loss
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville has been waiting to get pitcher Nick Bennett back in its weekend rotation.
On Sunday at Patterson Stadium in Louisville, he returned, and unfortunately for Clemson he returned to the form he pitched at next year.
The sophomore prevented the 11th-ranked Cardinals from being swept as he held the No. 10 Tigers to two hits in five innings of work in a 5-1 victory. However, thanks to its one-run victory in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader, Clemson won the three-game series 2-1.
The Tigers (18-6, 5-4 ACC) also won Game 1 of the series on Friday night behind the pitching of Jacob Hennessy.
Bennett was coming off months of rehab after suffering an injury in last year’s College World Series. Sunday was his first start after he made three relief appearances and threw five innings earlier this season.
Last year, Bennett was 5-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 13 starts.
Jake Higginbothom suffered the loss for Clemson after he gave up four runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Louisville took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a double-play ball by Justin Lavey that was overturned by replay. It appeared the Tigers had got out of a bases loaded jam when Lavey hit a ground ball to short, which Clemson’s Logan Davidson quickly flipped to second for the force.
However, Jordan Greene’s throw to first, pulled Chris Williams off the bag. It looked like Williams had tagged the runner in the foot before he reached, but replay showed Lavey’s foot touched the bag first, which allowed Danny Oriente to score from third for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals (18-6, 4-5) increased their lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning as Pat Rumoro doubled down the left field line to score Logan Wyatt with two outs and Lavey singled down the right field line to score Rumoro for the three-run lead.
They made the score 4-0 in the fifth inning and ran off Higginbotham in the process when Wyatt singled to centerfield to score Tyler Fitzgerald.
The Tigers finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning when Drew Wharton doubled down the right field line and Greene singled him in with a hit to left field.
Reid Detmers, who came in for Bennett in the sixth, was charged with giving up the run.
Louisville added an insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Tigers finished the game with just four hits.
Clemson will play Furman on Tuesday at Fluor Field in Greenville. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.