Daniel Gossett, Matthew Crownover overpower Terps in doubleheader sweep

Tigers win opener 3-1, then Crownover tosses complete game in 7-1 nightcap victory

Clemson's Daniel Gossett (23) pitches against Virginia Tech in the first inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday. Gossett had nine strikeouts in six innings pitched.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's Daniel Gossett (23) pitches against Virginia Tech in the first inning at Doug Kingsmore Stadium on Friday. Gossett had nine strikeouts in six innings pitched.

Clemson found a solution to its middle-relief woes Friday in a doubleheader against Maryland: Daniel Gossett started and pitched eight strong innings in the opener, and then Matthew Crownover went the distance in the nightcap.

Shane Kennedy provided the offense essential for Clemson's 3-1 first-game victory, while homers by Steve Wilkerson and Chris Okey accounted for five runs as the Tigers wrapped up their sweep with a 7-1 win in the second game.

The road sweep clinches the series for the 20th-ranked Tigers, who improved to 17-9 overall and 8-3 in the ACC. No. 25 Maryland fell to 16-8 and 4-5.

The opening-game pitching duel between Gossett and three-time ACC pitcher of the week Jake Stinnett lived up to its billing.

Stinnett allowed a single run on a solo homer by Kennedy in the second inning, as did Gossett on an eighth-inning pinch-hit blast by Michael Montville.

Maryland elected to go to its bullpen in the top of the ninth, with Stinnett leaving after having thrown 100 pitches.

Wilkerson greeted reliever Brandon Casas with a double down the right field line, and, after Maryland closer Kevin Mooney came on to pitch for Casas, Kennedy powered a drive off the center field wall for a run-scoring triple.

He came home on Jay Baum's sacrifice fly to right field.

Matt Campbell then closed out the victory for the Tigers by putting the Terps down in order in the bottom of the ninth, striking out two batters. In 18 innings this season, Campbell has allowed no runs, eight hits and has struck out 28.

Kennedy, who returned to the lineup last week after missing the first half of the season while rehabbing an ACL injury, went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Gossett (3-0) scattered eight hits, struck out six and walked one.

In the second game, Crownover (5-2) limited the Terps to four hits and one run, while striking out 10.

Wilkerson's three-run homer capped a four-run first inning for the Tigers, who added a pair in the fifth on a two-run shot by Okey.

Maryland got a run back in the seventh, but the Tigers answered in the eighth on a double by Wilkerson and a triple by Mike Dunster.

Wilkerson led a 13-hit Clemson attack with three hits, while Slaton, Steven Duggar and Baum had two apiece.

Clemson and Maryland will wrap up their series at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

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