March 24, 2012
Branden Kline fired a complete-game, two-hit gem to lead the Virginia baseball team to a 5-1 victory over Clemson Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. Kline allowed just two baserunners and did not walk a batter.
"Certainly I think this outing does a lot for Branden Kline," Virginia coach Brian O'Connor explained. "He proved to himself that he can pitch deep into the ballgame and that he can shut down a high quality offensive ballclub like Clemson has."
Virginia (14-8-1) clinched its fifth-consecutive series victory against Clemson. Game three of the series is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday. The Cavaliers also won their 15th-consecutive home ACC series, dating to a March 2009 series loss to Miami.
After giving up a triple to start the game, Kline (4-2) retired 27 of the next 28 batters, surrendering just a fourth-inning single to Jason
Stolz. He retired the final 15 batters he faced. It marked Kline's first career complete game; his longest previous outing was 6.1 innings. It was the first complete game by a UVa pitcher this year and the Cavaliers' first in an ACC game since Robert Morey went the distance against North Carolina on May 15, 2010.
"(O'Connor) asked me what I had left. I told him I've got three outs left in me and he told me just get out there and keep the ball down and pound the zone and whatever happens happens," Kline said.
UVa's eight- and nine-hole hitters, Mitchell Shifflett and Keith Werman did much of the damage for the Cavaliers. Shifflett went 2-for-2 and scored two runs, while Werman was 2-for-3 with a two-run double.
For the second straight day, UVa knocked out Clemson's starting
pitcher early. Starter Dominic Leone took the loss and worked 3.2 innings, allowing five earned runs, five hits and three walks while striking out three.
Clemson wasted no time in scoring the game's first run, as Steve Wilkerson led off the game with a triple to right-center and scored when the next batter, Stolz, grounded out.
Virginia tied the game in the second inning when Derek Fisher homered into the right-field bleachers. It marked his third long ball of the year.
The Cavaliers moved ahead in the third inning. After back-to-back singles by Shifflett and Werman to start the inning, Chris Taylor cranked a triple to center to plate both runs.
UVa doubled its lead in the fourth inning on a two-out, two-run double
by Werman to bring Nate Irving and Shifflett home.