Cavaliers rally past Clemson; Tigers’ postseason in doubt

With two outs, the bases empty, and trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning, #17 Virginia used a single, two hit-by-pitches, and two walks to score two runs in the frame and defeat Clemson 3-2 in the ACC Tournament in front of 3,331 fans at NewBridge Bank Park on Thursday.

The Cavaliers, who moved to 1-0 in the ACC Tourney, improved to 37-16-1 on the season. The Tigers, who fell to 0-1 in the ACC Tournament, dropped to 32-25 in 2012.

Jon McGibbon’s solo homer in the sixth inning tied the score 1-1, then Clemson took advantage of two Virginia miscues in the top of the eighth inning to score another run. But Virginia put together a two-out rally, as five straight Cavaliers reached base with two outs to allow them to score two runs.

Kyle Crockett (5-2), the second of three Virginia pitchers, earned the win. He allowed one hit, one unearned run, and no walks with two strikeouts. Justin Thompson pitched 0.2 hitless and scoreless innings to record his 12th save of the season. Starter Branden Kline tossed 7.0 strong innings, as he surrendered only four hits, one run, and five walks with five strikeouts. The four Virginia pitchers combined to allow just two of Clemson’s 15 baserunners to score and held the Tigers to 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Tiger reliever Mike Kent (1-2) suffered the loss, as he gave up two runs on one hit in 0.2 innings pitched. Daniel Gossett, like Kline, was effective in a starting role. He yielded just four hits, one run, and six walks with six strikeouts in 6.2 innings pitched.

Clemson will take on top-ranked and #1-seeded Florida State on Friday at 3:00 PM in the ACC Tournament. The Tigers’ only path to the ACC Tournament Championship game is if Clemson wins its final two games and Virginia loses its final two games in Greensboro.

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