Clemson Drops Season Opener to Richmond, 10-5


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Clemson's leadoff hitter is picked off second base in the first inning.

CLEMSON - The fifth-ranked Clemson baseball team lost its home opener
for just the second time since 1986 when it fell to Richmond 10-5 on
Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.


First baseman Vito Chiaravalloti and right fielder Ryan Martin each
had two hits and two RBIs to lead the Spider offense while starting
pitcher Mike McGirr gave up three runs in six innings as Richmond
earned its first victory of the season.


Clemson starter Jarrod Schmidt gave up three runs, only one of which
was earned, in four innings to get the loss. Right fielder Kyle Frank
went 3-4 with one RBI and right fielder Casey Stone went 2-3 with one
RBI to lead the offense. The Tiger defense suffered from two wild
pitches and five errors, the most errors committed since April 24,
1999 against Georgia Tech.


Richmond grabbed the lead in the first inning. After leadoff batter
Bryan Pritz singled and advanced to second base on a fielder's
choice, Chiaravalloti hit a ground ball that slid underneath the
glove of Clemson shortstop Jeff Baker and allowed Pritz to score.
Singles by left fielder Manny Cicchiello and designated hitter Adam
Tidball loaded the bases for John Nathans, who drove in two runs to
make the lead 3-0.


Richmond added to its margin in the fifth on Clemson reliever Matt
Henrie. Singles by Chiaravalloti and Pritz followed by a Tidball walk
once again loaded the bases. Martin hit a dribbler down the line that
scored a run when Tiger third baseman Khalil Greene could not field
it cleanly. The bases were cleared two batters later when another
dribbler down the third base line was fielded by Henrie but thrown
over the head of first baseman Michael Johnson. The four-run inning
gave the Spiders a commanding 7-0 lead.


Clemson finally got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Frank
hit a double to left field and scored two batters later off a Chad
Coder sacrifice fly. The Tigers closed to 7-3 in the sixth when
Schmidt, who was also the designated hitter, drove in left fielder
Casey Stone with a sacrifice fly and Greene scored on a Frank single
to right field.


Martin responded in the top of the seventh with a blast over the left
field fence to give Richmond an 8-3 lead. Reliever Tim Stauffer
entered the game in the bottom of the inning and gave up a sacrifice
fly to Casey Stone, but Richmond dashed any hopes of a Tiger comeback
in the eighth when Chiaravalloti drove in two runs with a single to
right field. Clemson's Schmidt drove in another run in the bottom of
the eighth for the team's last run of the game. Stauffer pitched a
shutout ninth and picked up the save.


The two teams continue the series Saturday at 2:00 PM. The game will
be broadcasted on WGOG-FM (96.3) in Walhalla and on WCSZ-AM (1070) in
Greenville.

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