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Clemson Upset by Virginia

April 4, 1998

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Sophomore shortstop Tim LaVigne (Virginia Beach, Va.) hit a two-run homer to key a three-run eighth inning rally and lead the University of Virginia baseball team to a 7-6 victory over No. 7 Clemson. LaVigne also pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the Cavaliers, striking out three batters to earn his fifth save of the season. Virginia improves to 18-12-1 overall and 4-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Clemson falls to 30-5 overall and 6-2 in the ACC.

Clemson held a 6-2 lead in the middle of the sixth inning before the Cavaliers began their comeback. Senior outfielder E.J. Anderson (Mechanicsville, Va.) singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth to extend his current hitting streak to 14 games. Anderson then moved to second on a single by senior second baseman Ryan Gilleland (Forest, Va.), and scored on an RBI single by junior outfielder Julian Gonzalez (Avon Park, Fla.). Virginia added another run in the seventh, as freshman catcher Mark Rueffert (Herndon, Va.) led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman first baseman Hunter Wyant (White Hall, Va.), and scored when senior outfielder Jon Kemmerer (Reston, Va.) reached on an error.

With Clemson then leading 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Virginia scored three runs to take the lead. Sophomore designated hitter Luis Giraldo (McLean, Va.) began the inning with a single, after which LaVigne hit his two-run homer to left center to tie the game at 6-6. With two outs, Wyant was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Wyant then stole second base and came in to score on an RBI single by Kemmerer.

The Cavaliers had opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, as Kemmerer singled and senior third baseman Brian Sherlock (Medford, N.J.) hit a two-run homer to right center. Clemson scored its first run in the third when Doug Roper singled, stole two bases and came home on a wild pitch. The Tigers took the lead with two runs in the fourth inning, thanks to an RBI double from Paul Stryhas and an RBI single by Patrick Boyd. Clemson scored two more runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Peter Nystrom and an RBI single from Stryhas, then the Tigers put their sixth and final run on the board in the sixth with an RBI double from Matt Padgett.

Rueffert led all hitters by going 3-for-4, while both Kemmerer and Sherlock were 2-for-5 with two RBI for the Cavaliers. Stryhas went 2-for-3 with two RBI for Clemson, while Brian Holstad was 2-for-2.

Junior righthander Bradley Nuckols (Crozier, Va.) picked up the win for Virginia, improving his record to 3-1 on the season. Nuckols threw 2-1/3 innings of scoreless relief while allowing only one hit. Righthander Ryan Mottl took the loss for Clemson, dropping his record to 7-1, as he allowed seven runs on 12 hits in 7-2/3 innings.

Virginia and Clemson will conclude their three-game series with a 1:00 p.m. game tomorrow, Apr. 5.

Virginia 7, Clemson 6                                                        R   H   EClemson (30-5)  0   0   1   2   2   1   0   0   0   -   6   10  1UVa (18-12-1)   2   0   0   0   0   1   1   3   X   -   7   12  1

CU: Ryan Mottl, Donovan Harrison (8) and Derek Borgert;

UVa: Javier Lopez, Bradley Nuckols (6), Tim LaVigne (9) and Mark Rueffert, Josh Bowling (9); 2B: Matt Padgett (CU), Brian Holstad (CU), Paul Stryhas (CU), Mark Rueffert (UVa); HR: Brian Sherlock (UVa), Tim LaVigne (UVa). Win: Nuckols (3-1); Loss: Mottl (7-1); Save: LaVigne (5).

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