Virginia’s Kline pitches complete-game gem against Clemson

Junior righthander Branden Kline tossed a complete-game two-hitter to lead Virginia to a 5-1 victory over Clemson in front of 3,033 fans at UVa Baseball Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Cavaliers, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 14-8-1 overall and 4-4 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in ACC play.

Kline (4-2) earned the win in pitching the first complete game by a Cavalier in 2012. In 9.0 innings pitched, he gave up just two hits, one run, and no walks with six strikeouts.

Kline, who threw 112 pitches (71 strikes), allowed just two baserunners in the game, both coming on hits. After giving up a leadoff single in the fourth inning, he retired the last 18 batters.

Tiger starter Dominic Leone (3-2) suffered the loss, as he yielded five hits, five runs, and three walks with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings pitched. David Haselden and Patrick Andrew combined to pitch the final 4.1 innings without allowing a run.

Steve Wilkerson led off the first inning with a triple to right-center, then Jason Stolz grounded out to second to score Wilkerson.

In the second inning, Derek Fisher hit a two-out, solo homer to right field, his third long ball of the season, to tie the score.

The Cavaliers took their first lead in the third inning. Mitchell Shifflett led off with a single to right-center and advanced to second on a balk. Keith Werman followed with a bunt single, then Chris Taylor belted a 1-2 pitch to right-center for a triple to score Shifflett and Werman. But Leone retired the next three Cavaliers to keep Clemson within two runs.

In the fourth inning, Jared King led off with a walk and moved to second on a balk. Later in the frame, Nate Irving hit a one-out single to center, but King was thrown out at the plate by centerfielder Tyler Slaton for out #2. Shifflett followed with a walk, then Werman flared a double down the left-field line to score Irving and Shifflett.

Shifflett and Werman, the #8 and #9 batters in the lineup, led Virginia with two hits apiece. Shifflett went 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk, while Werman went 2-for-3 with a two-run double and one run.

Wilkerson and Stolz each had one hit for the Tigers, while Wilkerson scored Clemson’s lone run.

Clemson and Virginia will play game-three of the three-game series on Sunday at 1:00 PM.

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