Virginia Takes Final Game

CLEMSON – At the end of the day, sure the Clemson baseball team was disappointed that it lost the series finale to Virginia. But overall, the weekend still proved to be a successful one. <br>

However, even though the Tigers took the first two games of the three-game series, Sunday's 9-2 loss at Doug Kingsmore Stadium had the team in a foul mood.

"I don't think we were where we needed to be mentally early in the ballgame," centerfielder Brad Chalk said. "When you look back at it, winning two games out of three is better than winning one game out of three, but we came in here hoping to get a sweep."

And such has been the transformation of Clemson baseball. A team that was hovering around .500 most of the first half of the season is now disappointed when it doesn't sweep an entire series.

The Tigers fall to 21-14 overall and 11-4 in the ACC, which puts them in third place by percentage points behind Miami in the standings, and a full 3.5 games behind leader Georgia Tech.

Virginia moves to 25-13 overall and 6-10 in the ACC.

"It was still better than coming into the game having to win this one to win the series," Clemson coach Jack Leggett said. "Anytime you can take two out of three in this conference, you're probably doing a pretty good thing.

"And we've played well all weekend long. We didn't anything particularly well today. We pitched average and they got into their pattern of playing."

Clemson starting pitcher Robert Rohrbaugh (4-2) took the loss by allowing five runs on six hits and three walks in 5-2/3 innings. Jeff Kamrath (6-3) earned the win.

Sunday's nine runs by the Cavaliers marked the most runs scored by the opposition in a game played in three-game weekend series.

"I thought I had good stuff but I just couldn't catch any breaks today," Rohrbaugh said. "Balls getting through the infield on choppers and I'm walking guys I should have no problem with."

Virginia took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning and quickly added to their lead by scoring another in the fourth and two more in the fifth to make it 5-0.

The Tigers attempted their comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning, but a crucial call by the first base umpire Frank Sylvester killed any momentum that had built up.

Chalk was called out on a close play at first, which caused Leggett to sprint from his third base coach's box all the way to Sylvester, upon whom he yelled and kicked dirt on. It didn't take long before Leggett was tossed from the game.

"I don't get thrown out very often," he said. "It was unfortunate, but at the same time it's not why we lost. … I just felt strongly enough about it and I felt I had to stand up for him. It was a tough part of the game. We were still in the ballgame at that point. …

"It just happens quick. It's impromptu and it's spontaneous. It was probably the dirt kick (that got me ejected)."

Leggett and the Tigers will have a shot at building up some serious momentum on Tuesday at Doug Kingsmore as they and Western Carolina will finish up a game that was stopped in the bottom of the fifth inning last week due to rain. The game will resume at 5 p.m.

Then that day's second game between the two will get underway. The first pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m. One day later, Clemson travels to South Carolina to finish out the four-game season set with the Gamecocks. South Carolina holds a 2-1 advantage.

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