Hokies Fall to No. 16 Clemson in Friday Game of Series
In the Hokies’ (29-17) Friday game against No. 16 Clemson (33-17), the team struggled to put the runs on the board and fell 4-15.
Drue Hackenberg started on the mound for the Hokies and threw for 4.2 innings before leaving the game. The RHP stepped in as the Friday pitcher instead of the recent Friday regular, Anthony Arguelles, who is out with a stomach bug. Hackenberg threw four strikeouts and allowed 13 hits over the 26 batters that he faced. Jacob Exum and Grant Umberger finished out the game - racking up two strikeouts each. Clemson had 20 hits against the Hokies and the Tech pitching squad could not find success against the Tigers.
The Hokies came out of the first inning with a 4-1 lead over the Tigers, a lead that held until the fifth inning. To open up the game, Carson Jones went yard for the 12th time this season. To respond, Jack Hurley hit a triple to give the Hokies a three-run lead. Jack Hurley’s return to the lineup has proved integral for this Hokies offense, and the infielder has had three RBIs since his return from injury. Hurley is also one of the older starters on this Hokies team, who currently start about four freshmen regularly. He brings seniority and maturity to the field, and it was something the team missed in his absence. Despite Hurley's success behind the bat today, the Hokies' lead was ripped out from under them pretty quickly.
Clemson’s biggest show came in the top of the fifth inning, scoring eight runs. Their offensive success did not come from grand slams or a single home run. Instead, the Tiger offense hit six singles in the fifth, slowly chipping away at the Hokies' lead. Blake Wright started off the hitting parade with a single, followed by a single from Benjamin Blackwell, and Cam Cannarella batted in Wright and Blackwell on a double to put up their first runs of the inning. Will Taylor and Caden Grice both joined the single party and the runs continued to tick for the Tigers. All nine hits and eight runs were against Hackenberg, and after the ninth hit, Exum came in with a strikeout to close out the inning.
The Hokies and the Tigers will play their second series game at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 13th at English Field.