April 16, 2005
CLEMSON, S.C. - The Virginia Cavaliers (24-13, 5-10 ACC) dropped a hard-fought 3-2 decision to the Clemson Tigers (21-13, 11-3 ACC) in the second contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series in front of a packed house of 5,595 spectators at the Tigers' Doug Kingsmore Stadium. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the ninth inning, UVa took its first and only lead of the ballgame at 2-1 lead and was three outs away from evening the series at one game apiece. But the Tigers plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and sealed the game on Andy D'Alessio's RBI-single through the left side to score teammate Tyler Colvin for the game-winning run, giving Clemson the 3-2 victory.
"I'm really proud of our guys, we played with a lot of pride and a lot of character," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "We're just that one hit - that one pitch away from putting the game away. To fall behind 1-0 going into the top of the ninth and for our guys to rally and be tough....it really shows what this team is made of. These guys have a lot of pride. We are really disappointed that we are not having success in this league (the ACC). But [the team] is not quitting and they have a lot of character and I think that showed today. It's unfortunate that we couldn't just finish [Clemson] off."
After playing seven and a half scoreless innings of baseball, the Tigers scored the first run of the game and took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when Colvin doubled to lead off the side before scoring a run four batters later when Stan Widmann walked with the bases loaded.
In the top of the ninth inning, Virginia mounted a rally and scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead. The Cavaliers' Tim Henry and Ryan Zimmerman connected on back-to-back singles to lead off the side to put runners on first and second with no outs. In UVa's next at-bat, Sean Doolittle doubled to left field to drive in Henry to tie the game at 1-1. One batter later, Josh Darby hit a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Zimmerman to give the Cavaliers a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.
Trailing buy a run and facing UVa's closer Casey Lambert in the bottom of the ninth, Clemson's Brad Chalk reached base on an infield single to shortstop to get things started for the Tigers. After a sacrifice but by Taylor Harbin to advance Chalk to second base, Colvin drove in Chalk for the game-tying run with a RBI-single to right field to knot the score at 2-2. Clemson's Kris Harvey then singled to put runners on the corners with one out before Travis Storrer was intentionally walked to load the bases. In the Tigers' next at-bat, D'Alessio's single through the right side drove in Colvin for the game-winning run, giving Clemson the 3-2 victory.
Virginia's Lambert (1-2) took the loss after going 0.1 inning and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk. The Cavaliers' Mike Ballard pitched a solid game, going 7.0 strong innings and allowed just one run on three hits and stuck out a game-high four batters in a no-decision.
The Tigers' Jeff Hahn (2-1) picked up the win after going just 0.1 inning in relief duty. Clemson's starter Josh Cribbs went 8.0 innings and allowed two runs on six hits and struck out three batters in a no-decision.
With loss, Virginia's record falls to 24-13 overall, 5-10 in the ACC. The win improves Clemson's record to 21-13 overall, 11-3 in the conference. The Tigers takes a two games to none lead in the series.
Virginia and Clemson will return to action on Sunday, April 17th when the Cavaliers and Tigers play the third and final contest of the three-game ACC series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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