The Clemson Insider looks back at No. 8 Clemson’s 9-8 win over Virginia on Sunday afternoon at Disharoon Park.
The Cavaliers (24-20, 9-15 ACC) took a quick 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI single and doubled their lead to 2-0 in the second on a sac fly. The Tigers (34-11, 17-7 ACC) answered in a big way in the third as Cromwell led off the inning with a solo homer before back-to-back two-run singles from both Chris Williams and Kyle Wilkie gave Clemson a 5-2 lead. Sam Hall hit his first career homer to lead off the fourth and a Seth Beer RBI single extended the lead to 7-2. Virginia would get the two runs back in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 7-4, but Clemson plated two runs in the sixth to stretch their advantage back to 9-4. The Cavaliers mounted a rally in the eighth with four runs to make it 9-8 but could get no closer as the Tigers swept the series in Charlottesville for the first time since 2002.
While the game had several momentum swings for both sides, the biggest plays of the game happened in the bottom of the eighth inning. Virginia had cut the lead to 9-8 and had the bases loaded with only one out. Ryley Gilliam picked up a big strikeout for the second out before Wilkie made the play of the game. Gilliam threw a pitch in the dirt that hit the wall but bounced back to Wilkie, allowing him to make a diving play to just tag the runner before he hit the plate and end the inning and keep Clemson in front 9-8.
What went right?
Logan Davidson had three hits to lead the Tigers 11-hit attack while Williams and Hall each had two hits. All nine starters reached base at least once as Clemson drew eight walks in the game. Ryan Miller earned his four win of the season with 3.1 innings of relief while Gilliam picked up his tenth save (and third of the weekend) with 1.2 hitless innings.
What went wrong?
The Tigers allowed the Cavaliers to come back from down as many as five runs and it was mostly due to “freebies” as six of the eight runs allowed reached base on either a walk or a HBP. On the day, Clemson pitchers walked seven batters and hit two other batters. The Tigers also stranded eight runners in the game, including leaving the bases loaded in the ninth when they were looking to add an insurance run.