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Ernie Clement flashes the leather on the hot corner vs. Houston

Former Virginia star tearing it up in the field.

MLB: Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Former Virginia baseball star Ernie Clement had three stellar defensive plays against the Houston Astros on Sunday, July 4. Clement, who helped the Cavaliers win the 2015 National Championship, has played 13 games with Cleveland this season after being called up for the first time on May 30, 2021.

Tied 0-0 in the third inning, Clement lunged to his right to go after what looked to be a base hit over the bag from Houston’s Jose Altuve. The rookie came up with the snag — which was impressive enough on its own and probably saved a double — but then somehow managed to maneuver his body and whip a pinpoint throw to first for the out.

Later in the fifth, Clement corralled a hot hit off the bat of Taylor Jones to get the out at first. On that play, Clement had to adjust quickly off of a high hop before collecting the ball and making the play. In the top of the 10th inning in a 3-3 tie, Carlos Correa got what appeared to be the hit that would put Houston ahead, but Clement had other plans as he caught the baserunner in a run down for the out.

Houston would go on to win the game, 4-3, but not for lack of effort on Clement’s part. On the season, Clement is batting .216 with eight hits and seven runs scored. He has played second base, shortstop, third base, and left field this season.

Next up, Cleveland starts a three-game series at Tampa Bay. Cleveland is currently six games out of the AL Central division leader Chicago White Sox and 4.5 games out of a Wild Card spot.