CLEMSON -- Clemson won its home opener at Doug Kingsmore Stadium by beating 18th-ranked UC Irvine 3-2. The win improved the Tigers to 2-2 on the season while the Anteaters fell to 6-3. Daniel Moskos picked up his first win as a Tiger to move to 1-1 on the year. Stephen Cline struck out the side in the top of the ninth to pick up his first save. Nash Robertson suffered the loss for the Anteaters.
The Anteaters struck early after Erik Johnson doubled down the left field line on Josh Cribb's third pitch of the game. After a sacrifice bunt moved him to third base, he scored on Mark Wagner's RBI groundout.
The Tigers broke an 18-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the 2nd. Tyler Colvin doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Herman Demmink's one-out double. Demmink advanced to third on Adrian Casanova's first career hit at Clemson, a single to rightfield. The Tigers could not score again, however, as Stan Widmann grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Clemson gained the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Casanova led off the inning with a single. Widmann sacrificed him to second base and after a Chalk groundout, Taylor Harbin laced an 0-2 pitch to right center field for an RBI triple. Nash Robertson then came on to pitch for UC Irvine and retired Travis Storrer to end the inning.
UC Irvine threatened in the top of the sixth when Wagner and Matt Anderson both produced two-out singles. With runners on the corners, Cribb struck out Anteater designated hitter R.J. Brown looking to end the inning.
David Kopp came on to relieve Cribb in the seventh with one out and an Anteater runner on second base. He struck out the first two hitters he faced to get the Tigers out of another jam.
UC Irvine got to Kopp in the eighth after the first two hitters were retired. Back to back doubles by Wagner and Anderson tied the score at 2-2. California native Daniel Moskos, who is from Alta Loma only 50 miles from the UC Irvine campus, came on to pitch for the Tigers and retired Anteater pinch-hitter Tim Stewart to end the inning.
Clemson took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Brad Chalk led off with a walk. Harbin's sacrifice bunt attempt produced an Anteater throwing error allowing Chalk to advance to third. Another throwing error on the same play allowed Chalk to score and Harbin to move to second on one of the wildest plays of the day. Harbin moved to third on a Travis Storrer sacrifice bunt but was stranded.
In his first career start at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Cribb struck out a career high eight hitters in 6 1/3 innings pitched and gave up only five hits.
The two teams continue the three game series on Saturday at 2:00pm at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.