Baseball vs. Clemson

Outfielder Kerry Carpenter (7) celebrates with infielder Jack Owens (2) as he heads to home base, March 31, 2019. 

The Virginia Tech Hokies welcomed the No. 15 Clemson Tigers to English Field at Union Park for a three-game series over the weekend. The Hokies entered the series at 16–12 and 4–8 in ACC play while the Tigers came in with an impressive record of 19–6 and 6–3 in the ACC.

The first game of this series between ACC foes started off at 6:04 p.m. on Friday, and it got off to a very slow start, with neither team mounting much offense in the first inning. The bats started to come alive for Clemson in the second inning when redshirt freshman Elijah Henderson hit a two-run single. The Tigers would add a third run in the third inning on a Grayson Byrd solo home run. Virginia Tech would get a run back in the bottom of the inning when freshman Carson Taylor was able to score from third while junior Tanner Thomas preoccupied the defense by getting into a run down.

Clemson then responded by tripling its score thanks to back-to-back singles as it took a commanding 6–1 lead halfway through the game. The score would remain that way until the sixth when junior Kerry Carpenter would score on a passed ball. In the seventh, the Hokies would pull within two when Carpenter hit a two-RBI triple that scored both Jack and Nick Owens. Unfortunately for the home team, the score would remain 6–4 and the game would end that way as Clemson took the first game. Davis Sharpe would get the win and Ian Seymour the loss, but it was Carson Spiers who secured the save.

The second game was a wholly one-sided affair as Clemson would score its first runs of the game in the second inning, and those runs would turn out to be all they would need. The first three runs that inning were thanks to three consecutive RBI doubles from Bryar Hawkins, Bo Majkowski and Sharpe.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Hokies would post their lone run of the game thanks to a Dalton Harum sacrifice fly. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, Clemson would score two runs in the next inning and never look back.

Clemson ended up scoring a whopping seven runs in the top of the sixth inning, more than doubling its score total at the start of the inning, to take an insurmountable 13–1 lead. The Tigers would score one more run in the seventh and the game would end 14–1. Mat Clark got credit for the win and Peyton Alford suffered the loss.

The final game of the series was an absolute shootout between the two ACC opponents. The game got off to a roaring start right out of the gate as Clemson put up six runs in the top of the first inning. Thanks to a lot of good hitting and a three-RBI home run from Bryce Teodosio, the Clemson Tigers were off to a great start, but the Hokies were not going to roll over and die. The Tigers got their seventh run in the second inning thanks to a Kyle Wilkie sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the third, Virginia Tech would finally respond, scoring two runs on a fielding error by the opposing pitcher. Then in the fourth, the Hokies’ bats would come alive as they would score three more runs to pull within two. Thanks to an RBI single from freshman August Haymaker and a pair of runs scored on wild pitches, the Hokies were back in it. The following inning Harum would hit an RBI single to make the score 7–6 in Clemson’s favor.

Unfortunately, the Tigers decided they had seen enough and scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a commanding 12–6 lead. Clemson relied on its whole lineup and fundamental manufacturing of runs to the large lead.

Virginia Tech would score a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to make it a three-run game, but that's as close as it would get, and the Tigers won the game 12–9. Clemson finished off the sweep with Holt Jones getting the win and Jack Dellinger on the hook for the loss.

The Hokies will look for redemption on Tuesday as they will head to Lexington, Virginia, to take on VMI at 6 p.m. Clemson will ride its four-game winning streak into a battle on Tuesday with Georgia at 6 p.m.

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