Clemson University

Ballard blasts Tigers over seven innings

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Senior right-hander Rhett Ballard pitched seven strong innings to lead Virginia Tech to a 5-2 victory against Clemson in front of 1,097 fans at English Field on Friday.

The Hokies snapped Clemson’s 11-game winning streak in the series. Their last victory against the Tigers came in the 2005 series-opener in Blacksburg. The Hokies improved to 23-12 overall and 8-10 in the ACC. The Tigers dropped to 25-13, 11-8.

Ballard (5-2) gave up five hits, two runs and four walks with seven strikeouts to earn the win. Sean McDermott pitched 2 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to record his first career save.

Tigers starter Chris Dwyer (4-3) allowed nine hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks with eight strikeouts.

The Tigers jumped to the lead in the top of the third inning. Mike Freeman belted a one-out triple off the right-field wall on an 0-2 pitch and scored on Addison Johnson’s sacrifice fly to left field.

The Hokies responded with a run in the bottom of the third. Ronnie Shaban led off with a double to left-center and Ty Hohman followed with a walk. After the next two Hokies were retired, Austin Wates fisted a two-out single to center to score Shaban.

The Hokies took the lead in the sixth inning with two runs thanks in part to two Tiger errors. Steve Domecus led off with a line-drive single to right field and advanced to third on Dwyer’s errant throw to first on a failed pickoff attempt. Mike Kaminski then bounced a single over Dwyer’s glove and past a drawn-in infield to score Domecus. After Kaminski was caught stealing at second and Michael Seaborn singled through the left side, Shaban laced a single up the middle, as Seaborn hustled to third. Johnson’s throw went into the third-base dugout, allowing Seaborn to score and Shaban to move to third.

The Hokies had two two-out, run-scoring hits in the bottom of the seventh.

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