CLEMSON, S.C. - After seven innings of scoreless baseball, in which W&M senior RHP Brett Koehler was outstanding, Clemson managed to plate two runs in the bottom half of the eighth before W&M's ninth inning rally fell short in a 2-0 setback on Friday afternoon of the 2013 season opener at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers open the year 1-0, while the Green and Gold fell to 0-1.
Koehler (0-1) finished an impressive afternoon with three strikeouts and no walks as the Glen Gardner, N.J., native allowed just six hits in eight innings of work. As the contest entered the eighth inning, only two Tiger batters had registered hits off the senior hurler. In 1.1 innings of relief work, Clemson's Clay Bates (1-0) picked up the win.
At the plate, sophomore third baseman Michael Katz led the Green and Gold with a 3-for-4 performance, all singles, while junior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth tallied two hits in three at bats. Freshman designated hitter Charley Gould connected on his first collegiate hit in the fifth inning as the Lake Forrest, Ill., native led the frame off with a single down the right field line.
In the top half of the first, W&M put a runner in scoring position, as Lindemuth advanced to second after a Katz single through the left side. However, the Tigers escaped the frame as Clemson starter Daniel Gossett retired the next batter.
Once again, the Tribe got the go ahead run in scoring position after Katz led off the top of the seventh with a single to right field. Junior William Shaw moved the Falls Church, Va., native into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt to Gossett. With Katz on second, senior shortstop Ryan Williams followed Shaw with a base-on-balls. After a Clemson pitching change with two outs, the Tigers left the inning without surrendering a run as reliever Joseph Moorefield retired his only batter faced.
The contest was still scoreless as play entered the bottom half of the eighth inning. After the Green and Gold recorded the first two outs of the frame, Clemson's Steve Wilkerson laid down bunt single just to the left of Koehler. The very next batter, Shane Kennedy, plated Wilkerson with a home run to left field as the Tigers went ahead 2-0.
The Tribe made things more than interesting in the top of the ninth. Lindemuth led the frame off with a single to right field and advanced to second on Katz's infield single. With no outs and runners on first and second, Shaw moved both runners up a base base with another sacrifice bunt. Now with runners on second and third, W&M was poised to strike but Clemson retired the next two batters as it preserved the win.
The series continues tomorrow from Doug Kingsmore Stadium with the first pitch slated for 2 p.m. Fans can follow the action online at TribeAthletics.com with live stats. Additionally, fans can watch the action, free of charge, courtesy of clemsontigers.com.