The Clemson bullpen gave away a one-run lead by hitting Chris Taylor and walking Brandon Cogswell with the bases loaded in the eighth, giving Virginia a 3-2 lead in Thursday's ACC Tournament opener for both teams.
The Tigers had just taken the lead when Taylor booted a ground ball to shortstop in the top of the eighth. Mike Kent got two quick outs in the bottom of the inning before a Brandon Downes single. Kent hit Nate Irving with a pitch and walked pinch-hitter Kenny Towns to load the bases, then hit Taylor to score pinch-runner Mitchell Shifflett to tie the game 2-2.
Scott Firth took over for Kent, and immediately walked Cogswell to put the Cavaliers in front 3-2. The Virginia bullpen kept Clemson off the board in the ninth -- ending the game when closer Justin Thompson got a 6-4-3 double play ball from designated hitter Phil Pohl -- to secure the win.
Starter Branden Kline pitched his way out of trouble for seven innings, giving up four hits, including a solo homer in the sixth to Jon McGibbon that tied the game 1-1. Kline walked five and struck out five.
Virginia now continues pool play against Georgia Tech at 11 a.m. Friday. The Yellow Jackets opened the tournament with a 5-4 win over No. 1 seed Florida State on Thursday.
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