Through the first 5 2/3 innings on Friday, Clemson’s Mack Anglin was nearly perfect.
The righty retired each of the first 17 batters he faced, getting six of them to strikeout, seven of them to ground out and then four to fly out in the Tigers’ 6-1 victory over Virginia at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
“Anglin was absolutely dominant today,” Lee said after the game. “He was as good as it gets. That is what you are looking for out of a game one starter.”
It was perhaps the best single pitching performance by a Clemson pitcher since Sam Weatherly no-hit South Carolina through seven innings in Columbia on February 28, 2020.
It can be argued Anglin’s day against Virginia (14-15, 6-13 ACC) was even more impressive than Weatherly’s considering he was pitching a perfect game with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. However, Virginia’s Zack Gelof earned an infield hit after hitting a sharp ball to third base to break up Anglin’s perfect day.
Anglin’s day ended on a 3-2 count to Brendan Rivoli with no outs in the top of the seventh inning, as inclement weather rolled through the Clemson area suspending play for 55 minutes. Mat Clark came on in relief after the weather delay.
“You never know what is going to happen with the weather,” Lee said. “We tried to make the best guess that we could yesterday base on the forecast. We felt like we were going to have some rain. As a head coach, you want to make sure with a summertime weather pattern like we had today, you give your team the best chance to get nine innings in. We felt like there was a higher chance of rain later in the day. We knew it was going to come at some point.
“We hate it for Mack, but on the other side you kinda expected it to happen. It is unfortunate, but also it is what it is. Mack probably would not have been able to give us more than one more inning there anyhow. That was going to be his last inning of work just based on pitch count. So, you hate it for him.”
When play resumed, Rivoli singled to left field, which was charged officially to Anglin. Rivoli eventually scored on a fielder’s choice from Max Cotier with one out, and the run was charged to Anglin.
Friday marked Anglin’s first appearance since he gave up just one run on six hits in the Tigers’ win over Virginia Tech on March 19.
With Anglin on the mound, it marked the fourth straight week Clemson (15-11, 9-7 ACC) started a weekend series with a different pitcher than the week before. Anglin was unavailable to pitch the last two weeks, as Jackson Lindley started Game 1 at BC and Nick Hoffman started the NC State series.
Clark closed out the game for the Tigers, pitching the last three innings, while allowing one run on one hit.
While Anglin was dealing on the mound, Clemson’s offense once again was producing at the plate. Catcher Adam Hackenberg got a two-out single to left center to drive home two runs in a three-run third inning for the Tigers.
They then took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to RBI singles from Elijah Henderson and James Parker.
Keir Meredith was 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in a run in the bottom of the eighth inning which gave the Tigers a 6-1 lead at the time.
Dylan Brewer, Parker and Bryce Teodosio also produced two hits to lead the Tigers. Clemson finished the game with 10 hits overall.
The two teams will play Game 2 Saturday at 7 p.m.
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