CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Clemson pitchers combined for a five-hitter as the eighth-ranked Tigers defeated Virginia 3-2 to take the opening game of their three-game series at Davenport Field.
The Friday night win was Clemson’s first series-opening win over the Cavaliers since 2005.
Jacob Hennessy got the start and pitched well going 5.0 innings and only giving up four hits, two runs and two earned runs. Hennessy was hit with a line drive up the middle in the fifth.
Spencer Strider pitched a scoreless sixth. Ryan Miller went 1.2 innings and gave up no hits and no runs. Ryley Gilliam finished it off for the Tigers for his eighth save of the year.
“Jacob Hennessy came in and did an phenomenal job,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee said. “The bullpen was outstanding again. Strider came in and pitched out of a tough spot. Ryan Miller was outstanding and then we brought Ryley in and Ryley was Ryley.”
Clemson jumped out front in the third inning. With two outs Seth Beer hit a solo home run that bounced over top of the wall in right field. It was Beer’s 12th home run of the year.
The Tigers led 1-0 after the top of the third.
“Out of the box I was definitely running hard,” Beer said to The Clemson Insider afterward. “This place is kind of a dead zone when it comes to the ball carrying. It is a huge field and it plays pretty big too. I knew I got a good piece of it. It was a fastball in.”
Virginia bounced right back with two in the bottom of the third to take the lead.
In the top of the fourth Grayson Byrd doubled to the left field corner. Kyle Wilkie singled to right to score Byrd. Robert Jolly singled to move Wilkie to second. Drew Wharton bunted the runners over. Sam Hall grounded out up the middle to score Wilkie. After the top of the fourth Clemson led 3-2.
Clemson moved to 32-11 overall and 15-7 in the ACC with the win. The Tigers and the Cavaliers play Game 2 Saturday at 4 p.m.