MVP -- Josh Horton, UNC
C -- Richard O'Brien, Miami
1B -- Dustin Ackley, UNC
2B -- Tony Thomas, Jr., FSU
3B -- Ramon Corona, NC State
SS -- Dustin Hood, Wake
OF -- Tim Fedroff, UNC
OF -- Marcus Jones, NC State
OF -- Reid Fronk, UNC
Utility -- Josh Horton, UNC
Pitcher -- David Copp, Clemson
Pitcher -- Alex White, UNC
North Carolina just struck quickly in the top of the 8th to retake the lead.
In the middle of the 8th, UNC leads Wake 3-2 in the ACC Tournament title game.
Dustin Ackley walked to lead off the inning, and after a strikeout, Josh Horton screamed a sinking liner to right. Evan Ocheltree tried to make a diving catch running to his left, but the ball bounced past him and rolled to the wall, and Horton coasted into third with an RBI triple.
Horton was cut down, however, when UNC put on the suicide squeeze and Chad Flack couldn't get his bat on the ball.
Andrew Carignan has taken the mound to start the bottom of the 8th.
After four and a half innings, Wake and Carolina are tied 1-1 in the ACC Tournament title game.
Down 1-0, Carolina scored an unearned run in the 4th to tie. Wake SS Dustin Hood threw away a Garrett Gore leadoff grounder. An out later Tim Federowicz singled, and after another out, Chad Flack lined an RBI single to left.
Wake pitcher Charlie Mellies is letting Carolina put the ball in play -- no walks or strikeouts, but only four singles in five frames. Because he's coming off Tommy John surgery, he might not be in much longer, though.
Carolina starter Luke Putkonen has allowed only an infield single and a walk and has struck out three in four innings.
Wake Forest scored a run in the first without hitting the ball out of the infield.
At the end of two innings in Jacksonville, Wake leads North Carolina 1-0 in the ACC Tournament title game.
Two Wake players have already been hit by pitches, giving them 105 HBPs as a team. That's good for third in the nation behind San Jose State (112) and Creighton (106).
The wind is still blowing in today, but not quite so fiercely, and the ball is carrying pretty well. UNC's Josh Horton hit a ball to the warning track in the second that might have been caught by the second baseman earlier this week.
North Carolina vs. Wake Forest for the ACC Tournament title at 1 pm on a beautiful, sunny day from Jacksonville!
UNC will start Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.55 ERA in 59.1 innings) while Wake will give senior Charlie Mellies only his fourth start of 2007. Mellies has pitched only 11 innings all season and is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA, but he's actually the leader of the Wake staff. His 2006 season was cut short by Tommy John surgery and he didn't make his debut this season until April 8th.
Wake has pulled off two stunners in a row, so don't bet against a third.
With regional host sites being announced this afternoon and regional bids going out tomorrow, let's recap where each ACC team currently stands with the selection committee. I've been telepathically channeling Larry Templeton, so this is the gospel...
It just did for Wake Forest left fielder Brett Linnenkohl.
With two out and a man on, Miami's Richard O'Brien crushed a ball to left. Linnenkohl took off after it at full speed, slowed a bit at the warning track, reached his glove up above the wall, and caught the ball.
Unfortunately for Linnenkohl, the play didn't end there.
He crashed into the wall a split second later and his glove, ball inside, fell off his hand and over the wall.
Two-run homer. 2-0 Miami at the end of two innings.
Jack Leggett is whooping joyously somewhere. Or maybe he's just smiling.
Miami and Wake Forest are just starting the nightcap. Clemson's win eliminated Miami, but even though the Canes can't win the tournament title, they are likely still playing for a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Wake Forest now controls its own destiny -- win and they play Carolina tomorrow. A Miami win sends Clemson to the title game.
Miami will throw Enrique Garcia (7-3, 3.14 ERA in 80.1 innings) against Wake Forest's Ben Hunter. Hunter is 6-6 with a 4.55 ERA. He has allowed opposing hitters to bat .290 and has thrown 10 wild pitches and has hit 7 batters in 63.1 innings, so he doesn't always know where it's going when he lets go.
Actually, we're already through one inning. Wake went down quickly in the first, and Blake Tekotte led off the bottom of the inning with a triple into the right field corner. But Miami wasted the opportunity when Roger Tomas popped up, and Yonder Alonso and Dennis Raben struck out.
I wonder if Jack Leggett is sitting in his hotel room, watching the game on TV, wearing a Miami shirt, and pounding pillows over that start?
After five innings, Clemson leads Florida State 2-0.
Clemson #9 hitter JD Burgess had no doubles in 118 at-bats this season, but he has two doubles in two plate appearances today. His second double opened the bottom of the fifth. He advanced to third on a sac bunt. Then, on a 1-1 count, Clemson tried the suicide squeeze, but Wilson Boyd was only able to foul off Bryan Henry's neck-high fastball. He struck out on the next pitch, but Marquez Smith followed with an infield single on a 1-2 pitch to score the Tigers' second run of the game.
FSU has had a hit every inning, but that's all they've had. Three of the hits even led off innings, but David Copp was able to pitch through it every time.
After three innings in Jacksonville, Clemson leads Florida State and undefeated Bryan Henry 1-0.
A Clemson win would eliminate both FSU and Miami.
FSU has had a hit every inning, but Clemson starter David Kopp has kept them in check.
Tony Thomas, Jr. has an infield single and a steal. For the season, he has 106 hits, 32 doubles, 6 triples, 11 homers, and 30 steals. He has been an absolute terror this week. He's just one of those guys who is so good you can't take your eyes off of him.
Clemson scored their run in the second when Taylor Harbin singled, moved to second on a balk, and scored on Addison Johnson's single.
Florida State and Clemson are about to start game 3 of the day. Each team needs a win and help in the nightcap 4 to reach tomorrow's final against North Carolina. A FSU win would eliminate Wake Forest; a Clemson win would eliminate Miami.
FSU starts ACC Pitcher of the Year Bryan Henry. He's 14-0 in 16 starts with a 2.50 ERA. In 104.1 innings, he has struck out 107 and allowed only 88 hits.
Clemson throws David Kopp. In 15 starts, he's 52 with a 3.86 ERA in 84 innings.
Hey, guess what? Tony Thomas, Jr. just hit the first pitch of the game for a single. Shocking, huh?
North Carolina and Virginia are about to face off with the winner earning a spot in tomorrow's title game.
Both are sure #1-seed hosts. UNC is probably a lock for a national seed, and Virginia might be playing their way into one.
Virginia has been looking for a third starter all season, and today will give their closer Casey Lambert his second start of the season. He started Saturday against BC and threw four effective innings after picking up a save two days earlier. He has fanned 41 in only 28.2 innings, and opposing hitters a hitting a meager .194 against him.
UNC counters with freshman Alex White, who is 5-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 76.1 innings.
Great pitching matchup in the night cap -- FSU is throwing Ryan Strauss (9-2, 3.33 ERA in 75.2 innings against Miami's freshman phenom Eric Erickson. FSU coach Mike Martin is saving ace Bryan Henry for tomorrow to set him up to pitch the Saturday game in next week's regionals. Erickson is 9-3 with a 1.85 ERA in 77.2 innings and has limited opposing hitters to a .232 average.
FSU leads 1-0 after an inning and a half. Tony Thomas, Jr. led off the game with a blast high off the wall in left-center for a double, stole second, and scored on a ground out.
Biggest crowd of the week so far, as only the outfield bleachers have ample seating remaining. Rain might an issue, though.
Wake broke up the shutout in the bottom of the 7th, but Clemson still leads 2-1.
With one out in the 7th, Weldon Woodall singled, Austin Jones walked, and Ben Terry beat out a bunt to load the bases. That was it for Clemson starter Ryan Hinson, who gave way to reliever Matt Vaughn.
Vaughn got a short fly ball for the second out, but walked Allan Dykstra to force in a run. He held the lead, however, by getting Willy Fox looking on an 0-2 pitch to end the inning.
Hinson's final line: 6.1 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 3 hit batters, and 1 K.
Wake starter Brad Kledzik is still on to start the 8th, but the Deac pen is active.
BBQ is now available in the press lounge, so I'm digging in now because 1) sportwriters eat like wild famished dogs and it will be gone before the game's over and 2) my laptop already has BBQ sauce on it from yesterday.
Unfortunately for Wake Forest, they're HBPs, not base hits.
Ben Terry has been hit by two pitches today, giving him 21 on the season, and Allan Dykstra was plunked for the 20th time this year. The three HBPs give Wake 101 as a team, moving them to #4 in the nation; San Jose State leads with 105.
At the stretch, Clemson still leads 2-0.
Clemson’s Andy D'Alessio led off the sixth with an absolute moonshot to right that looked sure to be the first home run of the week. The perpetually strong wind, however, knocked it down and the ball bounced off the wall near the 375' mark. D'Alessio ended up on third with a triple but was stranded there, partially because that fake-to-third-throw-to-first pitcher's pickoff play that never works actually worked.
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.
I'm back and well-rested for day three of the ACC Tournament at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Today's games feature Clemson and Wake Forest at 4:00, followed by Miami and Florida State.
Clemson hands Ryan Hinson the ball in the opener. Hinson is 5-2 with a 2.78 ERA in 71.1 innings. He'll be opposed by Wake's Brad Kledzik, who's 4-4 with a 5.04 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting a healthy .313 against Kledzik.
A Clemson win would not only set up a showdown with Florida State tomorrow, but also officially eliminate Miami.
Through four innings, it was 3-2 UNC and neither team had scored more than one run in an inning.
But North Carolina figured out the secret to the big inning -- get your opponent to commit three consecutive errors in the inning. The Tar Heels put four runs on the board in the top of the fifth and lead NC State 7-2 after five and a half innings.
After three and a half innings, UNC leads NC State 3-2.
UNC broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the second. Tim Fedroff singled and moved to second on a HBP. With two out, Reid Fronk ripped his second hit of the game to right, this one an RBI single.
NC State tied it in the third. The first two hitters of the innings singled, and two outs later, Ramon Corona singled to tie it.
But in the top of the fourth, UNC again got to lefty Eric Surkamp. With one out, Fedroff was hit by a pitch and moved to third when Kyle Seager ripped a double into the right field corner. After a HBP, Reid Fronk made it 3-2 on a fielder's choice.
ACC: We're playing, and we have scoring to prove it
The first pitch of the UNC-NC State game came at 10:10.
The first run came at 10:12.
Both teams are swinging the bat, and both teams have put a run on the board after one inning.
Reid Fronk smacked the first pitch of the game into the right field corner for a double, a quick out later, soon-to-be National Freshman of the Year Dustin Ackley drove a pitch up the middle to give UNC a 1-0 lead. Pack pitcher Eric Surkamp allowed another hit, but got a 6-4-3 DP to get out of the inning.
In the bottom of the inning, UNC ace Robert Woodard walked leadoff hitter Dallas Poulk, then Pat Ferguson blasted a double to wall in left-center to make it 1-1. Woodard regrouped and retired the next three hitters, two on strikeouts.
It's 9:18 in Jacksonville, and the tarp is still on the field and rain is coming down. Supposedly this cell is just about through here, but they'll have to remove the tarp, and the teams will have to warm up, so I'm not a bit optimistic about having a first pitch before 10:00. We did just have a group of kids (NC State coaches' kids?) re-enact the tarp scene from Bull Durham, though. A member of the grounds crew just chased them off, which drew boos from the few people that are in the stands.
A minute ago, there was a lot of whooping and hollering and both teams came out of the dugout to look into the stands. Supposedly, a girl in one of the luxury boxes decided to make her own entertainment by flashing the teams. I may have to do some investigative reporting to kill the time.
The second game is a hatefest, though -- NC State and Carolina.
In the middle of the 8th, Virginia now leads Georgia Tech 2-1, and this time they worked Small Ball to perfection.
Brandon Marsh led off with a single, stole second, and moved to third on a grounder to the right side. With the GT infield playing in, Brandon Guyer hit a grounder past third for the tie-breaker. Guyer stole second for Virginia's 125th steal of the season, a school record. GT's Chris House ran down a blast into the left-field corner for the final out of the inning.
Sean Doolittle's no-hitter is gone, his shutout is gone, and his lead is gone. After five innings, Virginia and Georgia Tech are tied 1-1.
Doolittle had struck out four in a row, including the side in the fourth, but Wally Crancer lined a clean single up the middle on an 0-1 pitch to lead off the fifth. He moved to second on a sac bunt and, one out later, scored on Tony Plagman's single.
Virginia had a good chance to add to their lead in the bottom of the 4th, but the Cavs put on a how-not-to-execute-small-ball clinic. The Cavs had two on with none out, but Tyler Cannon's sac bunt attempt ended up as a force-out at third, and then Mike Mitchell was thrown out attempting to steal third on a play that looked like someone missed a hit-and-run sign. A strikeout ended the inning.
The skies are darkening a bit, so rain may become a factor later.
After three and a half innings in the day two opener in Jacksonville, Virginia leads Georgia Tech 1-0.
Like yesterday, everything hit in the air today is getting knocked down by the wind.
Virginia's Sean Doolittle has dominated. Doolittle has faced only nine hitters through three innings. He has allowed only one base-runner, a leadoff walk to start the game to Danny Payne, but Payne was erased on a double play.
GT's Eddie Burns only allowed one hit in the first three innings and struck out four, including a backwards K to end a 14-pitch at bat by Tyler Cannon that closed the third.
Cannon ran into trouble in the top of the fourth, though. Brandon Marsh led off with a double -- his drive short-hopped the wall in left, the closest thing we've seen to a home run here this week. Doolittle, also the UVa DH, walked, and Brandon Guyer loaded the bases with a perfect bunt single to third. David Adams then brought across the first run of the game with a sac fly.
Florida State pounded Wake Forest 11-2 in the nightcap of the ACC Tournament. Final pitch? 12:50 a.m., a mere 14 hours and 44 minutes after the first pitch of the day.
This wasn't a thing a beauty. It started with Michael Hyde walking the bases loaded in the first and Wake scoring a run without a hit.
But Hyde settled down and FSU eventually woke up, sending 10 batters to the plate in the fourth and plating five runs to take the lead for good. Buster Posey finally busted it wide open with a bases-loaded triple in the eighth.
Coming into the fourth inning, Florida State had only one hit in the game. But they sent 10 men to the plate, and after four complete, Florida State leads Wake Forest 5-2.
Wake tacked another run on their lead in the top of the fourth on an Andy Goff RBI single, but the Noles did their thing in the bottom of the inning.
Jack Rye led off with a line drive single and one out later moved to third on Jason Stidham's double. Mark Gildea then bounced one through the middle to score Rye, and when the centerfielder didn't pick up the ball cleanly, Stidham came home to tie it. Ruairi O'Connor lined a hit up the middle, and Wake starter Garrett Bullock walked #9 hitter Brandon Reichert on four pitches to load the bases.
There's not a good time to face Tony Thomas, but facing him with the bases loaded is probably the worst time.
But Bullock actually got Thomas to hit into what should have been an inning-ending double play ball. However, SS Dustin Hood momentarily bobbled it before shoveling it to second, and Thomas beat out the relay to first. 3-2 Noles. Mark Hallberg followed with an RBI single to left, and Buster Posey did the same to right field to make it 5-2. Jack Fry popped up to end it, but the Noles had batted around and taken control.
Not that it matters this late because we've passed the point of no return, but this game is moving along pretty quickly. After three innings, Wake Forest leads Florida State 1-0.
Wake Forest scored their run in the first without a hit. FSU starter Michael Hyde walked the bases loaded, and Brett Linnenkohl got an RBI on a fielder's choice when FSU couldn't turn a double play. Hyde has settled down, and the next two innings have been three-up, three-down.
Wake starter Garrett Bullock went through the FSU lineup the first time without allowing a hit, but he got in a jam in the bottom of the third. Wake's second error of the night put a runner on with one out, and then Bullock walked Tony Thomas. Mark Hallberg lined a single to right to load the bases, but Buster Posey hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
I swear there are a lot fewer FSU fans than there were earlier tonight. I know some of them are in the stadium bar that's right outside the press area, but I think quite a few left because of the late start.
Alan Farina came on in relief for Clemson in the 10th and got Jemile Weeks to line into an inning-ending double play. Of course, what that sentence actually means is that Weeks hit a liner so hard that the third baseman put up his glove for protection, the ball embedded itself in the webbing, and the runner had no chance to return to first.
Farina did get dominant in the 11th, striking out the side. Danny Gil came out for his third inning of work in the bottom of the 11th. He walked Addison Johnson to lead off the inning. Johnson moved to second on a sac bunt, and remained there when Brad Chalk hit a come-backer. With two outs, Alex Lee, who had pinch-run in the 7th, grounded out to end the inning.
The 12th is the final inning in my scorebook, so that means someone has to win it now.
Miami brought on closer Danny Gil to start the ninth, but he walked leadoff man Brad Chalk. The Tigers bunted Chalk to second, and Gil issued an intentional walk to set up a double play. Ben Paulsen hit a hard bouncer to second that took a wicked hop, but Jemile Weeks not only gloved it, but he also turned the double play.
Clemson starting pitcher Daniel Moskos left in the eighth, and Stephen Clyne is still on. Moskos went 7.2 innings, allowed 8 hits and 3 earned, walked one, and fanned two.
After eight innings, we have a whole new ballgame. Clemson rallied for two runs in the seventh with the help of a two-out error, knocked out Scott Maine, and we go to the eighth tied 3-3.
Trailing 3-1, Clemson #9 hitter JD Burgess led off the seventh with a walk, the third time he has reached base today. After a strikeout, pinch hitter Alex Burg singled him to third; Alex Lee pinch-ran for Burg. Marquez Smith then nubbed a swinging bunt about 20 feet up the first base line and beat it out for an RBI single when Maine couldn't bare-hand it. Cleanup hitter Andy D'Allessio, who had been hit in the wrist by a pitch early, was lifted for a pinch hitter. Ben Paulsen pounded a perfect double play ball to third, but Roger Tomas bobbled it for a split-second, which caused 2B Jemile Weeks to hurry his relay throw to first. The throw got away from Yonder Alonso just far enough for Lee to score from first to tie it. David Gutierrez relieved Maine to get the final out of the inning.
Maine's final line: 6.2 innings, 8 hits, 2 earned, 2 walks, and 4 Ks.
Daniel Moskos is out to start the eighth, but he's almost at 100 pitches, so he's not for long, especially as good as the Clemson bullpen has been this season.
After five and a half innings, Miami leads Clemson 3-1.
Miami's Scott Maine has allowed only four hits and an unearned run. He's out-pitching Clemson's Daniel Moskos, who Baseball America rates as the #8 prospect in the upcoming draft. Moskos has allowed eight hits through six innings and has struck out just two.
After three quick innings in game three today, Miami leads Clemson 2-0.
Miami had a runner in scoring position in each of the first two innings, but couldn't capitalize. That changed in the third.
#9-hitter Ryan Jackson singled, moved to second on a sac bunt, and scored when Roger Tomas smoked a double by the third base bag. Daniel Moskos struck out Yonder Alonso for the second out, but Jemile Weeks blooped a single to second to make it 2-0.
Miami pitcher Scott Maine stranded two runners in scoring position in the first and is keeping Jemile Weeks busy – the second baseman had four 4-3 putouts in the first two innings.
The wind is still blasting straight in and we've had a continuous rotation of sun and clouds all day. With Jacksonville's coastal location, scattered rain is usually a fact of life, but that small shower we had after game one has been it so far. (Knocking on this wood paneling next to me.) This stadium's location near the St. Johns River also adds to the weather weirdness. Some of the local were sharing stories about how frequently the rains stall just above the river, and one guy who works at the stadium insisted there was a night when it was pouring on the right fielder for several minutes, but not raining at all on the infield.
Miami-Clemson will begin at about 5:20. Clemson will throw sometimes-starter, sometimes-closer Daniel Moskos. He has made 24 appearances, 7 starts, and has a 3-5 record, a 3.07 ERA, and 68 K's in 58.2 innings. Miami throws Scott Maine, who's 5-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 85.1 innings.
After both games today, teams mentioned how hard the infield is. The grounds crew just watered it down pretty good, so we'll see if that helps.
Georgia Tech took advantage of North Carolina's bullpen wildness to win game two of the ACC Tournament 8-4.
Leading 6-3, Tech put it away in the ninth. Patrick Long led off with his third hit of the day, and Tony Plagman followed with a double. The Heels went to the pen again, and B.J. Dale walked the first hitter he faced to load the bases with none out. With the infield in, #9 hitter Chris House bounced his second hit of the day up the middle to make it 8-3.
Walks were the theme of the day, as Tech hitters drew 11 of them (against only one strikeout). Danny Payne drew his 59th and 60th free passes of the day from the leadoff slot, and #2 hitter Michael Fisher walked three times. Matt Weiters and Wally Cranker followed them in the order with a pair of hits each, and Patrick Long contributed three hits (and a walk of course). The Jackets also totaled 11 hits.
Believe it or not, 11 walks isn't even close to the ACC Tournament record -- NC State allowed 15 walks in a 1995 game.
After struggling early, Tech pitcher David Duncan dominated. He went eight innings and allowed five hits and two earned runs, but UNC managed only one hit off him after the fourth inning.
Chad Flack and Tim Fedroff had two hits each for the Heels.
After three innings in the wind tunnel known as Jacksonville, North Carolina leads Georgia Tech 1-0
With one out in the second, UNC's Josh Horton beat out a perfect bunt. Chad Flack followed with a smash that went right through 3B Brad Feltes' legs. The ball rolled to the corner and Horton scored all the way from first.
Georgia Tech put two on with two out in the top of the third, but Matt Weiters flied out and stranded them.
I spent the first game in an enclosed press box, but I finally ventured down to the stands for a couple of innings. The wind is BLASTING. Each team has a huge banner hung from the bottom of the second deck, and about half of them are blown up and tangled in the rafters. There's an ACC official with a long pole trying to untangle them, but he's fighting a losing battle. The wind is mostly coming straight in from center, occasionally blowing from center towards left. Except for directly down the lines, this is a big ballpark -- 420 to center, 382 to the left alley, and 375 to the 20-foot wall in right center. It will be really tough to hit one out today. It's a pitcher’s paradise.
Today's second game between Georgia Tech and North Carolina is scheduled to start at 1:30. The shower that blew through after the first game was very brief. GT will start David Duncan (6-4, 3.84 ERA), and UNC will counter with Adam Warren. Warren has made 12 appearances, 10 starts, and has a 10-0 record and a 1.93 ERA in only 56 innings.
UNC took two of three from GT two weekends ago in Chapel Hill. Duncan pitched the opener and allowed nine hits and seven runs in four innings in a 10-3 loss. Warren has primarily started midweek games, and saw no action that weekend.
Virginia got great pitching from Jacob Thompson and one big inning to beat NC State 6-1 in the first game of the ACC Tournament.
Thompson was just consistently efficient all game -- he pitched eight innings, allowed five hits, an unearned run, struck out three, walked one, and never faced more than four hitters in any inning.
Other than the sixth inning, the Cavalier bats were pretty quiet, but that inning they sent 11 to the plate and produced six runs and six of their ten hits on the day. Tyler Cannon, Sean Doolittle and David Adams led Virginia with two hits each.
Clayton Shunick was the losing pitcher. He allowed nine hits and six runs in 5.1 innings. Ramon Corona had three hits for the Wolfpack.
And now it's raining and the tarp is going on the field.
Clayton Shunick's magic has run out. The NC State surprise starter had fanned six through five shutout innings, but Virginia sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth and chased him. After six, Virginia leads 6-1.
Brandon Marsh and Sean Doolittle singled to lead off the bottom of the sixth for the Cavs. Brandon Guyer then laid down a beautiful bunt towards third and both Shunick and 3B Ramon Corona broke for the ball. Shunick fielded it and tossed a hurried backhand throw to third, but unfortunately for him, no one was there to catch it, the ball rolled towards the bullpen, Marsh scored, and Virginia had runners on second and third. David Abrams followed with a sharp two-run single. After a botched sac bunt, Shunick yielded another single and a walk to load the bases and headed for the showers.
Lefty Andrew Taylor relieved, but walked in a run and his day was over, too. Jeff Stallings relieved, and Tyler Cannon laced his first pitch for a two-run single, but Stallings recovered to get a strikeout and a popup to strand two runners.
Virginia's Jacob Thompson has allowed only four hits and an unearned run through six innings.
On a personal note, I'm on my third Mountain Dew of the day and I'm finally starting to feel alive.
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.
I've run ten marathons in my life, and today's probably going to feel like the 11th. (Actually yesterday felt like the 11th -- scheduled 1pm flight out of Austin, connecting in Houston, but it took me more than seven hours to leave Texas -- but don't get me started on that...). Four games today at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
I'll be honest here -- most years, drawing the ACC assignment from the three big conference tournaments (ACC, Big XII, SEC) wouldn't have thrilled me. Too many years of watching ultra-talented Clemson and Georgia Tech teams underachieve in Omaha had jaded me on ACC baseball. Don't blame the messenger -- an ACC team hasn't dogpiled at Rosenblatt since Wake Forest won it all in 1955. (Don't even think about counting independent Miami's titles.) Come to think of it, was the dogpile even invented in 1955?
But this year I'm seriously fired up to be in Jacksonville, because the ACC has several teams capable of making major noise in Omaha and the conference is absolutely loaded with marquee talent. Plus, several of these teams have RPI rankings in the 15-20 range, so a big week could get them a #1 seed and an opportunity to host.