ACC: Day Two
By Glenn Tanner - May 24, 2007
After yesterday's 14 hour and 44 minute marathon day of baseball, we have only two games today.
Virginia and Georgia Tech meet at 4 p.m., and North Carolina and NC State resume their hatefest 45 minutes after that's finished.
What we saw yesterday...
The real star of the day was the wind. The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville is already a big park, measuring 420 to center, but with the wind blowing straight in at a 20-30 mph clip all day, the park played impossibly big for hitters all day.
The Virginia bats took awhile to get going in the 10 a.m. game, but when they did, the #3-seeded Cavs scored all six of their runs in the sixth inning and defeated 6-seed NC State 6-1. As you might expect because of the early start, the game was plagued by poor baserunning and subpar defense, but Virginia ace Jacob Thompson dominated. Thompson pitched eight innings, allowing only five hits, one walk, and an unearned run.
"The wind knocked every ball down. This ballpark would have probably even held Barry Bonds this morning." -- NC State coach Elliot Avent
2-seed North Carolina was even sloppier in the second game. The Tar Heel pitching staff walked 11 and registered only one strikeout as 7th-seeded Georgia Tech pulled off a comeback 8-4 win. The Carolina bullpen really imploded in the 7th, as GT scored four runs on three hits, three walks, and a hit batter. Tech starter David Duncan pitched eight strong innings, allowing only five hits and two earned runs.
"Of all the days for our pitchers not to find the strike zone, today was not the day. If there was ever a day to throw strikes, today is the day. If this wasn't a pitcher's day with the wind blowing in, I don't know what would be." -- UNC coach Mike Fox
The instant classic of the day saw 4-seed Clemson beat 5-seed Miami 5-4 in 13 innings. Clemson rallied for two runs in the seventh to tie the game at 3-3, and after Miami plated a run in the top of the 13th, the Tigers scored twice to win it, the second coming on Alex Lee's bases-loaded suicide squeeze bunt nearly four hours after the first pitch of the game. Clemson went hitless from innings 8-12 against the Cane bullpen, but the Tiger bats awoke in time to win it.
"Anytime you give a squeeze sign you feel like everyone in the whole ballpark's watching you." -- Clemson coach Jack Leggett
The finale didn't start until after 10 p.m., and top-seed Florida State didn't show up until several innings later. 8-seed Wake Forest led 2-0 early, but the Seminoles exploded for five runs in the 4th and four runs in the 8th to win 11-2. Every FSU starter had at least one hit and one run scored.
"It was a late one, but that is what happens sometimes and you just can't control that. But today was a great day of baseball and I hope the fans in Jacksonville enjoyed it." -- FSU coach Mike Martin
The wind is blowing in again today, but not quite as strong as it did yesterday. It will still be extremely tough to hit one out today, except for perhaps down the left field line. The primary beneficiaries of the wind will be starting pitchers Sean Doolittle (7-3, 2.63 ERA in 68.1 innings) of Virginia and Georgia Tech's Eddie Burns (3-3, 3.78 in 64.1 innings).
First pitch at 4:06. I'll be back with updates when action warrants.
Posted by Glenn Tanner at 03:46 PM on May 24, 2007