Pinch-hitter Mike Papi hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the ninth inning to tie the score, then hit a solo homer in the 11th inning to lead No. 12 Virginia to a 6-5 win over Clemson on Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson.
The Tigers (10-6 overall, 2-2 ACC) built a 5-1 lead in the fifth inning, but Virginia (16-1, 3-1) scored one run in the seventh inning before plating three runs in the ninth inning to tie the score. Clemson escaped Virginia's one-out, bases loaded jam in the 10th inning without giving up a run, but Papi delivered for the Cavaliers in the 11th inning to give them the one-run victory.
Kyle Crockett (2-0), the last of five Cavalier pitchers, earned the win by pitching 2 2-3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball.
Mike Kent (0-1) got the loss. Starter Daniel Gossett allowed five hits, two runs, and no walks with six strikeouts in seven innings.
Shane Kennedy gave Clemson a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run homer to left field, his second long ball of the season. He finished with three RBIs. Steve Wilkerson and Jon McGibbon had two hits apiece to lead the Tigers.
Branden Cogswell, Henry Towns and Papi had two hits apiece to pace Virginia, who totaled 12 hits in the contest.
Game 2 of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.