ACC: History Lesson

By Glenn Tanner - May 25, 2007

Game one of the day is a quick pitchers' duel so far. After four and a half innings, Clemson leads Wake Forest 2-0.

Clemson scored the game's first run in the top of the fourth. Andy D'Alessio led off with a walk, advanced to second on a sac bunt, and scored on Doug Hogan's double to left, the Tigers' fourth hit of the day.

In the fifth, Clemson added another when JD Burgess walked, moved to second on a grounder, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Wilson Boyd's sac fly.

Clemson starter Ryan Hinson has allowed only three base-runners -- a single by Dustin Hood, a walk, and Ben Terry's 20th HBP of the season. I'm guessing Terry has a few bruises.

When you talk about great baseball programs in ACC history, Wake Forest is probably not the first to come to mind. In fact, many people would probably completely skip over the Deacons.

But Wake can claim something the other 11 programs can't -- the only College World Series title for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The 1955 edition of the Demon Deacons went 29-7, including 4-1 in Omaha to capture the national title. They were led by All-American catcher Linwood (why doesn't anyone name their kids Linwood any more?) Holt, who batted .354 on the season and drove in the winning run in the 7-6 championship game victory over Western Michigan.

To advance to Omaha, Wake had to first win the District 3 Playoffs. First, the Deacons went to Morgantown, West Virginia, where they beat WVU two out of three, scoring a ninth-inning run to win the deciding game 6-5. Next they headed to Winter Park, Florida, where they easily handled Rollins College in two games.

Once in Omaha, the Deacs shut out Colgate (1-0) and Colorado State (10-0) before getting pounded by Western Michigan 9-0. They gained revenge on the Chippewas with a 10-7 win, then shut out Oklahoma A&M 2-0 to set up a rubber match with WMU for the title.

Wake jumped to a 3-0 lead in the game, but trailed 6-3 heading into the fifth. Three runs in the inning tied it, and Holt's RBI single in the eighth proved to be the winning run. The game's attendance? 2,042.

Whole different world back then, huh?

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 05:10 PM on May 25, 2007

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