Tigers Krall over Cavaliers 12-1, earn series win
|Sunday, March 19, 2017, 4:49 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Pat Krall pitched seven strong innings and Jordan Greene went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two driven in as No. 9 Clemson defeated No. 11 Virginia 12-1 at Doug Kingsmore Stadium Sunday afternoon, winning the series two games to one.
Clemson finished an eight-game homestand with a 7-1 record, including 5-1 in the first six ACC games of the season Clemson is 16-4 overall.
Clemson head coach Monte Lee said it was good to get the bats going early and often.
"He (Krall) was outstanding. We played really, really good defense all weekend. We only made one error on the weekend. I've got to give a lot of credit to Drew Wharton, too," Lee said after the game. "Drew gets his first start. He had two hits, scored two runs, drove in a run, made a great play to lead off the game in the outfield. I made sure to make a point to recognize Drew in front of our guys after the game. Drew is one of those guys that works extremely hard. He's practiced hard every day, waiting for his opportunity to get in there and when he got his opportunity, he shined for us today. I'm very proud of Drew Wharton.
"Logan Davidson had a big day and swung the bat very well. Andrew Cox had another good day. Jordan Greene had a good day. We got a lot of production out of the lineup today - scored in seven of our eight innings. We had seven extra-base hits - five doubles and two home runs. We pitched well. We were able to get three first-year guys into the ballgame out of the bullpen, which was good - Mitchell Miller, Jeremy Beasley and Owen Griffith."
The Tigers struck early. Facing Greene with one out in the bottom of the first, Virginia’s outfield was playing relatively shallow, and the sophomore second baseman made them pay with a liner just over the head of the rightfielder. Chris Williams followed that with a double that rolled to the wall in left, plating Greene and giving Clemson a 1-0 lead in the first.
Wharton, getting the start in right, had a defensive gem (a diving catch) in the top of the second, and got the Tigers started with a single to left to start the bottom of the inning. Davidson singled to left, and Patrick Cromwell loaded the bases after he was hit on a 3-2 pitch while attempting to bunt. Chase Pinder rolled into a double play, scoring Wharton for a 2-0 lead. However, Greene reached on an infield single, allowing Davidson to score for a 3-0 lead.
Davidson added another run in the fourth, launching a leadoff homer over the wall in left for his second homer of the season. It was also his first hit of the season from the right side of the plate.
Virginia finally broke through against Krall in the fifth. Charlie Cody hit a bomb over the wall in left, and the Cavaliers were within three at 4-1.
Virginia starter Adam Haseley entered the game with a 2.16 ERA but left after just four innings. He had given up just six earned runs in his previous four starts, but gave up four in four innings Sunday, walking one and striking out one.
Cox and the Tigers got the run back in the fifth. Cox stepped to the plate with two out, worked a full count and launched the 3-2 pitch onto the batting cages in right-center for a 5-1 lead. The homer was the third of the year for Cox.
Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the sixth. Pinder, who drew a one-out walk to get things started, scored on a passed ball and Clemson led 6-1.
Cox reached on a fielding error to lead off the seventh and back-to-back doubles by Wharton and Davidson plated two runs. Seth Beer added a two-single run and Clemson scored five in the seventh for an 11-1 lead.
Krall’s day finished after seven innings. He threw 119 pitches, gave up one run (earned) on five hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.
Cox doubled to lead off the bottom of the eighth, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Wharton’s groundout for the final Clemson run and a 12-1 lead.
It was Clemson's first series win over Virginia since 2005, but Lee said he doesn't worry about the past.
"It was a great series win. We lost on Friday night and our guys really competed and found a way to win the series against a really good Virginia ball club," he said. "I had heard we had struggled as a program against Virginia. For me, it's big because it's a great program and we lost on Friday night and found a way to win the series. As far as what's happened in the past, I don't get too caught up in that. I try to preach to our guys that we believe we can compete with anybody. History doesn't dictate how we play. All I know is what's happening right now and that's all we really worry about."
Clemson won’t play at home again until March 28th. The Tigers travel to Mount Pleasant Tuesday to take on the College of Charleston at 6 p.m. They will fly out of Charleston Wednesday and travel to Rhode Island to take on Boston College in a three-game series that starts Friday.
They return home to take on Furman on the 28th and Winthrop on the 29th, then go back on the road for a three-game series at Georgia Tech and a midweek game at Georgia.