Lake View, SC native Josh Cribb earned the victory in the #21 Tigers' 7-2 win over West Virginia Friday afternoon at Coastal Federal Field. It was Clemson's first opening-game win since 2002, as the Tigers improved to 1-0. West Virginia fell to 2-1. It was also the Tigers' 10th win in 10 tries against the Mountaineers all-time.
Cribb (1-0), pitching less than 50 miles from his hometown, went 6.0 innings to earn the win. He scattered nine hits, and allowed two runs and no walks while striking out four. He also threw 10 ground ball outs compared to just two fly ball outs. Jeff Hahn and Drew Fiorenza combined to pitch the final three innings without allowing a run to close out the game. The three Tiger hurlers combined for eight strikeouts and only one walk. Mountaineer starter Shawn Miller (0-1) suffered the loss thanks to six runs, four of which were unearned.
Clemson's starting lineup featured four newcomers, including freshmen Brad Chalk and Taylor Harbin, who hit 1-2, respectively, in the batting order. Both had a single and double, while Harbin added a stolen base and had two stellar defensive plays at second base. Travis Storrer was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two walks. Clemson did not commit an error in 42 chances as well.
Clemson got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. In Harbin's first career plate appearance, he doubled off the wall in left field. Then Storrer lined a single through the right side, and Harbin came across just ahead of the throw from right field to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers tacked on five more runs in the second inning thanks to two costly Mountaineer errors. West Virginia had only committed one error in their first two games. Herman Demmink led off with a bloop, wind-driven single to shallow center. After Tyler Colvin walked and Adrian Casanova popped up for out #1, Stan Widmann grounded a potential inning-ending double play to shortstop. But Doug Nelms booted the ball, loading the bases. Chalk then laced his first career hit, a double, to right-center to bring home two runs. Harbin followed with an RBI groundout to third and Storrer hit an RBI double to left. Storrer came around to score and gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead when Kris Harvey's sharp grounder was booted by the third baseman.
West Virginia punched across a run in the third inning after the first two batters were retired. Tyler Kuhn ripped a double to left-center and scored on Justin Jenkins' single up the middle.
Lee Fritz cut the Tiger lead to 6-2 when he doubled to right field in the fifth inning, plating Kuhn. It was Fritz's and Kuhn's second double apiece in the game.
Clemson upped its lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to alert baserunning by Harbin. The Travelers Rest, SC native legged out a two-out, infield single then stole second. He then went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on another wild pitch.
Clemson will next face Coastal Carolina Saturday at 4:00 PM at Coastal Federal Field. The Tigers will be designated as the visitors.
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