Crownover deals Cards third ACC loss in dominant effort


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Clemson head coach Jack Leggett waves Chris Okey home
Clemson head coach Jack Leggett waves Chris Okey home

CLEMSON – Saturday’s opener was a perfect storm for the Clemson baseball team and it led to a dominant 9-1 win over third-ranked Louisville at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Starter Matthew CrownoverMatthew Crownover
Jr. LH Pitcher
#44 6-0, 210
Ringgold, GA

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was dominant from the start, and he picked up his eighth win by tossing seven innings, giving up one run, five hits, walking three and striking out four.

Clemson also took advantage of timely hitting and three hit batters in scoring three runs in the bottom of the first off Cardinal starter Kyle Funkhouser, two in the third and putting the game away with a four-run seventh.

Crownover said he pitched with an edge against Funkhouser, who entered the contest with 6-2 record and 2.24 ERA.

"I guess I have a little chip on my shoulder," Crownover said after the game. "That guy (Funkhouser) is going to be making millions of dollars here in a couple of weeks and I probably won't, but by God he wasn't going to beat me today. He's a great player and the sky is the limit for him but he wasn't going to beat me today."

Weston WilsonWeston Wilson
So. Infielder
#8 6-3, 195
High Point, NC

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was 3-for-4 with three RBI while Reed RohlmanReed Rohlman
RS Fr. Outfielder
#26 6-0, 210
Moore, SC

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was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

Clemson improves to 24-21 overall, 13-11 in ACC play. The loss was just Louisville’s third in conference play as they fall to 35-11, 19-3.

"This is one of the better games that we've played," Clemson head coach Jack Leggett said. "Matthew continues to do his thing on Friday nights - or Saturday now. He was exceptionally good with men on base. He makes pitches when he has to. He's just a great competitor for us. Alex Bostic came in and did a great job for us. We played good defense. We had three really good innings - first, third and seventh. We built some innings. We ran the bases well. We swung the bats against a really good pitcher who has pitched well for them all year. I'm really pleased with how we played today."

Clemson got off to a fast start in the bottom of the opening frame, sending eight batters to the plate. Eli WhiteEli White
So. Infielder
#4 6-2, 185
Easley, SC

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started the inning off after getting hit by a pitch and scored after singles by Steven DuggarSteven Duggar
Jr. Outfielder
#9 6-2, 195
Moore, SC

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and Reed Rohlman. Chris OkeyChris Okey
So. Catcher
#25 5-11, 195
Mount Dora, FL

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advanced the runner with a fielder’s choice to shortstop and both runners scored after back-to-back singles by Chase PinderChase Pinder
Fr. Infielder
#5 5-10, 175
Poquoson, VA

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Chase Pinder
Infielder
# 6-0, 165
Poquoson, VA

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and Weston Wilson, giving Clemson a 3-0 lead.

Tyler KriegerTyler Krieger
Jr. Infielder
#3 6-1, 170
Johns Creek, GA

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led off the third inning with a double down the left field line and scored on a single to left by Rohlman. Rohlman advanced to third on a ground out by Pinder and scored on a single by Wilson that ricocheted off the glove of the second baseman, giving Clemson a 5-0 lead.

A leadoff walk came back to haunt the Tigers in the sixth inning. Crownover had been nearly flawless but gave up a walk to Sutton Whiting to begin the inning. Whiting advanced to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a ground ball to shortstop. Brendan McKay laced a single to right center to plate the Cardinals first run of the game, making it a 5-1 Clemson lead.

The Tigers added some insurance in the seventh, stretching the lead to 9-1. Andrew CoxAndrew Cox
RS So. Outfielder
#6 6-0, 215
Belton, SC

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worked a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice by White and scored on a double up the middle by Duggar. Krieger followed up the double with a walk and Okey walked to load the bases. Louisville pitcher Anthony Kidston then hit Pinder to plate Duggar. Wilson singled off the shortstop’s glove, scoring Krieger. Okey also scored on a bad throw by the shortstop.

Game two of the series is Sunday at 6:30 pm at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

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