ACC: Nodding off in Jacksonville

By Glenn Tanner - May 23, 2007

After three innings at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, Virginia and NC State are still scoreless thanks to some questionable baserunning. Whoops, update -- NC State just scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth to take a 1-0 lead.

Virginia ace Jacob Thompson works veeeeery fast, so we might not be way behind schedule after game one.

Thompson struggled in the first, but didn't allow a run. He went 3-0 on the leadoff hitter before battling back to get an out. Then Ramon Corona ripped a double down the third base line. After an out, Mike Roskopf blooped a single to left, but Brandon Guyer easily gunned down Corona at home.

Virginia had a chance in the bottom of the second. David Adams lined a shot off pitcher Clayton Shunick's leg. Shunick went down like he was killed, or at least hit in the jewels, but was able to remain in the game. Virginia didn't show much sympathy, because the next hitter laid down a sac bunt that Shunick had to field. With two out, Patrick Wingfield laced a single to right, but Ryan Pond made a good throw to get Adams on a close play at the plate.

NC State's baserunning in the top of the third was not good, to put it nicely. Marcus Jones reached on an error, but was doubled off on a flyout to right, and Dallas Poulk beat out a bunt single, but was picked off first.

Corona doubled again to lead off the fourth and moved to third on a sac. With one out, Thompson induced a popup to short center. Tim Henry caught it and fired it home just in case Corona was running. He wasn't, but Henry's throw sailed over the cutoff man, short-hopped the catcher, and bounced away far enough that Corona was able to score on a close play.

Dead atmosphere for this game. There are probably only a few hundred people in the stands who were up for morning baseball. The Baseball Grounds is a beautiful setting, though. It's part of Jacksonville's sports complex -- a basketball arena is behind it, and beyond the right field wall looms The Stadium Formerly Known as the Gator Bowl. Further off the in distance is the towering Matthews Bridge that spans the St. Johns River. Even though it doesn't fit with the sports motif, there's also a beautiful old church behind the third base area. Maybe I'll head over there between games and pray for a day's worth of pitcher's duels.

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 10:49 AM on May 23, 2007

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