CLEMSON – The break for exams lasted one more day than Clemson coach Jack Leggett liked – his lineup taking an extra Saturday off against Maryland.
Miserable conditions added to the unsightly scoreboard as well.
Clemson ace Daniel Gossett (7-3) struggled from the start, battling a steady rain and wind gusts of 15-plus mph.
A three-run Terps’ second inning bumped him to 50 pitches early, and a solo shot to left field off Maryland second baseman Kyle Convissar’s bat – plus a couple more baserunners – chased him after 2 1/3 innings (a season-low).
And that was all the Terrapins (28-21, 9-16 ACC) needed for a 7-2 decision.
Maryland 7, Clemson 2 wrap-up
Tigers can't get bats going
“They were better than us today – simple as that,” Leggett said. “We still looked like we were taking tests. We didn’t have any rhythm going at all. We looked like we hadn’t seen any live pitching.”
The sophomore right-hander had allowed just two runs over 20 innings in his previous three starts and won four-straight.
“He was just off rhythm today for some reason,” said Leggett. “I don’t know why. Hopefully next time out he’ll be better.
“He’s usually better for us, but he just had one of those days.”
Meanwhile, senior Maryland lefty Jimmy Reed dominated, continuing a dubious stretch for the Tiger bats.
Reed (6-3) struck out a career-high 11 batters, allowing four hits over eight innings on 123 pitches.
Terps right fielder Jordan Hagel made it 5-0 with another solo homer off Clemson reliever Jonathan Meyer in the fourth frame, but this time, the Tigers answered – designated hitter Shane Kennedy launching a home run directly over the 400-foot marker in center field for two scores. It was Clemson’s first homer since April 14 and only the 14th team dinger overall.
That would be it though, adding to the Tiger woes against lefties. In the last four games against left-handed starters, Clemson has been held to four runs in 32 innings, going 1-3.
“He was real good at mixing his pitches,” Kennedy said, analyzing Reed’s day. “He was real good at spotting up. He had a cutter that broke late – it wasn’t overpowering, but it was hard to see and stay on.”
Meyer largely held the Terps in check until Hagel struck again in the sixth with a two-RBI double to left field.
Maryland totaled 14 hits overall, with Hagel and catcher Jack Cleary knocking in two runs each, and Convissar accounting for a game-high three hits.
Clemson first baseman Jon McGibbon was substituted mid-game, going into the matchup with a bruised foot, and is day-to-day for the rest of the series.
The junior co-captain was 0-for-1 and had been on a hot streak of late, driving in six RBIs last week.
A doubleheader was scheduled, but part two was rained out. Game two is tentatively set for Sunday at 1 p.m., but with rain in the forecast again, that will be reevaluated in the morning. Game three is set for 7 p.m. Monday on ESPNU.
“We’ve been doing this the whole season,” Leggett said. “I don’t know if we’ve played a regular game time. Next year when we put together the schedule we’re just going to be ‘TBA’ for every game.
“It’s just been one of those springs where the weather hasn’t been good.”
With the rest of the ACC off from conference play, Clemson (30-15, 15-10) dropped to a game and a half out of first place in the Atlantic Division.