DURHAM, N.C. - Chase Pinder’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted #12 Clemson to a 5-4 win over #8 Virginia, the defending national champs, in the ACC Tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Thursday. The Tigers, who improved to 1-0 in the tourney, upped their record to 39-18, while the Cavaliers, who fell to 0-1 in the tournament, dropped to 36-19. It ended a streak of 5 straight losses to UVA in the ACC Tournament. UVA Head Coach Brian O'Connor was going for a new school record for wins by a head coach.
Weston Wilson hit a run-scoring double in the top of the second inning, then Daniel Pinero belted a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning to tie the score. In the fifth inning, Mike Triller, making just his third start of the year, laced an opposite-field, two-run homer over the left field monster on a 1-2 pitch. It was his second long ball of the season in only 27 at bats. Later in the frame, Eli White lined a two-out, run-scoring double to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead. The Cavaliers lifted back-to-back sacrifice flies in the sixth inning, then Matt Thaiss crushed a leadoff homer in the eighth inning to tie the score. But Chris Williams led off the ninth inning with a single and came around to score on Pinder’s sacrifice fly to deep left-center.
Pat Krall (9-1) earned the win in relief in 2.0 innings pitched. It is his 8th win for the ACC's ERA king out of the bull pen. Cavalier reliever Tyler Shambora (5-1) suffered the loss. Krall wasn't forced to throw many pitches, which should allow the staff to use him again in relief or as a starter over the weekend.
The Tigers play No. 2 seed, #3 Louisville on Friday at 11 a.m., on RSN and ESPN3 (subject to blackout). Clemson is the designated home team and will occupy the third-base dugout.