Eighth inning dooms Tigers in ACC tourney opener


by - Senior Writer -

GREENSBORO, NC – Winning the ACC Tournament is hard enough without practically handing your opponent a win, but that’s exactly what happened Thursday for Clemson.

Virginia (37-16-1) scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth, garnering only one hit in the process, in taking a 3-2 victory over Clemson (32-25) in the ACC Tournament opener for both teams at New Bridge Bank Ballpark in Greensboro. The loss to Virginia means that the only way the Tigers can make the tournament championship is if Virginia loses its final two games and the Tigers win their final two.

Clemson head coach Jack LeggettJack Leggett

Baseball Head Coach

View Full Profile said Thursday’s loss was a microcosm of the entire season.

“We’ve got to come up big,” Leggett said. “We have big-time players and this is a big-time tournament atmosphere. This is where we’ve got to step our game up, do better in that area. We’ve struggled with it all season long and it showed up a little bit today. They hit a ball to right and next thing I know, the inning implodes on us,” Leggett said. “A couple hit batters, couple walks, next thing I know we’re down one.”

Clemson was given a gift run of their own in the top of the eighth, scoring a lone run without the benefit of a hit. That lead and all of the good feelings unraveled in the bottom of the eighth after reliever Mike KentMike Kent

RS So. RH Pitcher

#15 6-0, 195

Springfield, VA

View Full Profile came in to pitch.

Kent promptly recorded two quick outs, but everything unraveled after that. A single, a hit batter, and a walk loaded the bases. Leggett came to the mound, and even though reliever Scott FirthScott Firth

Jr. RH Pitcher

#20 6-0, 165

Buffalo Grove, IL

View Full Profile was ready in the bullpen, Leggett elected to leave Kent in the game.

Kent then hit Chris Taylor with a pitch to score the tying run, and he was then replaced by Firth, who promptly walked another hitter to make it 3-2 Cavaliers heading into the top of the ninth.

The Tigers had one final chance to tie the game in the ninth when Richie ShafferRichie Shaffer

Jr. 3rd Base

#8 6-3, 205

Charlotte, NC

View Full Profile drew a one-out walk, his fourth of the game. Designated hitter Phil PohlPhil Pohl

Sr. Catcher

#9 5-11, 215

Cooperstown, NY

View Full Profile then grounded into a game-ending double play, leaving the Tigers to wonder how they let one get away as Virginia now owns an eight-game winning streak against the Tigers.

The Cavaliers got on the board first, scratching out a single run against Gossett in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single by Jared King.

The score remained that way until the top of the 6th inning, when Jon McGibbonJon McGibbon

So. 1st Base

#12 6-1, 210

Lindenhurst, NY

View Full Profile finally got Clemson on the board with a long blast to right field, a solo shot that made it 1-1.

“I’ve always been an aggressive hitter early in the count,” McGibbon said. “(Kline) laid a fastball right there middle-in, and I was able to get a good piece of the bat on it and put it out of here to give us momentum.”

Gossett pitched in and out of trouble all day, even leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, but kept the Virginia offense in check for most of the contest. He left with two outs in the seventh and runners at first and second, but Joseph MoorefieldJoseph Moorefield

RS Jr. LH Pitcher

#51 6-1, 205

Woodruff, SC

View Full Profile came in and struck out Derek Fisher to end the threat.

Gossett finished by giving up four hits, striking out six, walking six and hitting a batter while giving up just the one run.

A little luck and some heads-up baserunning enabled Clemson to score its second run. Brad FelderBrad Felder

Gr. Outfielder

#3 6-0, 200

Bowman, SC

View Full Profile led off the top of the eighth inning, and struck out. However, the missed third strike hit the umpire and bounced away from catcher Nate Irving.

With one out, Felder stole second and scored when McGibbon’s scorcher got under the glove of Cavalier shortstop Chris Taylor and rolled into center field.

The Tigers return to action at 3 p.m. Friday when they take on top-seeded Florida St., but have to find a way to correct their woes at the plate. They were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position on Thursday and have scored just five runs in their last 36 innings of play.

“We had a couple opportunities,” Leggett said. “We’ve got to come up with some big two-out hits, two-out RBIs.”


Clemson vs #17 Virginia

May 24, 2012 at Greensboro, NC (NewBridge Bank Park)

Clemson 2 (32-25)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

Steve WilkersonSteve Wilkerson

So. 2nd Base

#17 6-1, 185

Roswell, GA

View Full Profile 2b....... 3 0 1 0 1 1 3 3 2

Thomas BrittleThomas Brittle

RS Jr. Outfielder

#4 5-8, 170

Cross, SC

View Full Profile cf........ 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0

Richie Shaffer 3b........ 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 2 0

Phil Pohl dh............. 4 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2

Brad Felder rf........... 4 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 5

Jay BaumJay Baum

Fr. Infielder

#13 5-11, 180

Alpharetta, GA

View Full Profile lf.............. 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0

Jon McGibbon 1b.......... 4 1 2 1 0 0 9 1 0

Spencer KieboomSpencer Kieboom

Jr. Catcher

#22 6-0, 220

Marietta, GA

View Full Profile c........ 4 0 0 0 0 0 6 3 1

Jason StolzJason Stolz

Sr. Infielder

#2 6-2, 205

Marietta, GA

View Full Profile ss........... 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 1

Daniel GossettDaniel Gossett

Fr. RH Pitcher

#23 6-0, 160

Lyman, SC

View Full Profile p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0

Joseph Moorefield p..... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Mike Kent p............. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Scott Firth p........... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 32 2 5 1 6 7 24 12 11

Virginia 3 (37-16-1)

Player AB R H RBI BB SO PO A LOB

------------------------------------------------------

Chris Taylor ss.......... 3 0 0 1 1 1 2 3 1

Branden Cogswell dh/2b... 3 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0

Stephen Bruno 3b......... 4 0 1 0 1 2 0 0 3

Derek Fisher lf.......... 2 0 1 0 2 1 3 0 2

Jared King 1b............ 2 0 1 1 2 0 4 1 0

Colin Harrington rf...... 3 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 5

Brandon Downes cf........ 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0

Mitchell Shifflett pr/cf 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Nate Irving c............ 3 1 0 0 0 1 7 0 1

Keith Werman 2b.......... 3 0 1 0 0 0 5 1 0

Kenny Towns ph.......... 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0

Justin Thompson p....... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Branden Kline p.......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0

Kyle Crockett p......... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals................... 27 3 5 3 8 8 27 8 12

Score by Innings R H E

-------------------------------------------

Clemson............. 000 001 010 - 2 5 0

Virginia............ 001 000 02X - 3 5 2

-------------------------------------------

E - TAYLOR(17); BRUNO(12). DP - Virginia 2. LOB - Clemson 11; Virginia 12.

HR - McGIBBON(4). HBP - WILKERSON; TAYLOR; COGSWELL; IRVING. SH -

BRITTLE(2); HARRINGTON(17). SB - WILKERSON(9); FELDER(10); BRUNO(11). CS -

FISHER(3).

Clemson IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

Daniel Gossett...... 6.2 4 1 1 6 6 22 30

Joseph Moorefield... 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1

Mike Kent........... 0.2 1 2 2 1 1 3 6

Scott Firth......... 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 1 2

Virginia IP H R ER BB SO AB BF

-----------------------------------------------

Branden Kline....... 7.0 4 1 1 5 5 24 31

Kyle Crockett....... 1.1 1 1 0 0 2 7 7

Justin Thompson..... 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 1 2

Win - CROCKETT (5-2). Loss - KENT (1-2). Save - THOMPSON (12).

WP - GOSSETT(9); KLINE(6). HBP - by GOSSETT (COGSWELL); by KLINE (WILKERSON); by

KENT (IRVING); by KENT (TAYLOR). PB - IRVING(13).

Umpires - HP: Frank Sylvester 1B: Jacob Asher 2B: Morris Hodges 3B: Danny

Everett Start: 11:06 AM Time: 3:18 Attendance: 3331

Game: CU5241

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