Joe Parsons and Manny Martir combined to allow just two of 14 baserunners to score as Virginia Tech edged #16 Clemson 3-2 in front of 943 fans at English Field on Sunday afternoon. The Hokies improved to 29-23 overall and 10-17 in the ACC. The Tigers, who won the series 2-1 and saw their eight-game winning streak end, fell to 36-16 overall and 15-12 in ACC play. Clemson also dropped to 27-1 when allowing less than four runs in 2011.
The Tigers could not take advantage of their multiple scoring chances and seven walks, as they were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners on base. The Hokies took the lead for good with a run in the fifth inning, then Clemson put the potential tying run on third base with one out in the ninth inning. But Martir retired the next two Tigers to send Clemson to its eight loss in nine one-run games in 2011.
Parsons (7-2) earned the win despite allowing five hits and six walks in 6.2 innings pitched. He yielded just one run with five strikeouts in 106 pitches (53 strikes, 53 balls). Martir recorded his second save of the season in 2.1 innings pitched. He gave up two hits, one run, and one walk with two strikeouts.
Jonathan Meyer (5-2) suffered the loss despite an effective outing. He tossed his first career complete game and the first by a Tiger in 2011. In a career-long 8.0 innings pitched, he allowed just nine baserunners (eight hits, one hit-by-pitch), three runs, and no walks with six strikeouts in throwing only 96 pitches.
The Hokies took the game’s first lead in the third inning. Chad Morgan led off with a double to right-center and advanced to third on Johnny Morales’ sacrifice bunt. Jake Atwell then grounded out to second to score Morgan.
The Tigers put together a two-rally in the top of the fifth inning to tie the score. Spencer Kieboom lined a two-out single to center and went to third on John Hinson’s single to right field. After Phil Pohl walked to load the bases, Brad Miller walked after being down in the count 0-2 to score Kieboom.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Tony Balisteri hit a one-out, seeing-eye single through the left side, stole second, and scored when Morgan laced a liner to center. Centerfielder Will Lamb appeared to have the ball measured, but he misjudged it and the ball fell in front and went past him for a double. Through five innings, the Hokies held a 2-1 lead despite Clemson putting nine runners on base compared to four for Virginia Tech.
In the seventh inning, Chad Pinder led off with a chopper through the left side for a single and advanced to second on Balisteri’s sacrifice bunt. Morgan followed with a double to left-center that scored Pinder and gave Virginia Tech a 3-1 lead.
In the ninth inning, Chris Epps belted a one-out single to center. Pinch-hitter Jon McGibbon followed with a line-drive single to right field to move Epps to second base, then both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. With two strikes on Hinson, Epps scored and McGibbon advanced to third base on another wild pitch, but Hinson struck out swinging on a 3-2 changeup for out #2. Hinson had been 11-11 in getting a runner from third base home with less than two outs in 2011. Pohl then grounded out to shortstop to end the game, as Clemson fell to 0-11 in its last 11 one-run games away from home dating back to 2009.
Morgan led Virginia Tech’s eight-hit attack by going 3-for-3 with three doubles and two RBIs. Michael Seaborn added two hits and a hit-by-pitch.
Kieboom went 2-for-2 with a run and walk to lead the Tigers, who totaled seven hits.
Clemson will play its final regular-season home game of the season at Doug Kingsmore Stadium against Davidson on Tuesday at 6:30 PM.