With just four league wins during the first three and a half months of their first ACC season, Notre Dame was looking for someone, anyone, to beat as they played their first true home game Friday night at Frank Eck Field in South Bend.
Twenty-fourth ranked Clemson proved to be an unexpected but suitable victim, as the punchless Tigers dropped a damaging 2-1 decision to the Irish in the first of a three-game series.
Notre Dame, the ACC's last place team, has been a season-long nomad, playing home games at various sites while construction crews battled unfavorable weather conditions while installing a new state of the art 'Field Turf' surface.
Clemson, which came into the game clinging to the NCAA bubble with a No. 36 RPI, will tumble significantly as a result of their loss to the 205th-ranked Irish.
Hard-luck lefty Matthew Crownover gave his usual, strong, should-have-been-good-enough performance, but, given negligible support at the plate, took the loss and fell to 6-5.
The setback dropped Clemson to 30-20 overall and 12-12 in the ACC. Notre Dame improved to 18-30 and 5-20 in the league.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Tigers.
After the Tigers grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded in the top of the third, Notre Dame's Kevin DeFilippis drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning and scored on Kyle Richardson's triple to left-center, which fell just out of the reach of Garrett Boulware.
Cavan Biggio then brought home Richardson on a sacrifice fly.
Clemson's lone run came on Boulware's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
The teams will play again at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc