Clemson Picks Up Primetime Win Over Top-Ranked Tar Heels

ACC Baseball Standings (Rankings from NCBWA poll, April 1)

Atlantic Division
#7 Florida State – 24-4 (8-4)
Clemson – 17-11 (6-6)
#25 NC State – 19-10 (5-7)
Maryland – 15-12 (4-8)
Wake Forest – 16-14 (4-8)
Boston College – 3-22 (0-11)

Coastal Division
#1 North Carolina – 25-2 (9-2)
#6 Virginia – 25-3 (9-3)
#15 Georgia Tech – 21-6 (8-4)
#30 Virginia Tech – 20-9 (7-5)
Duke – 16-13 (6-6)
Miami – 20-11 (5-7)

North Carolina 10, Clemson 3
North Carolina 6, Clemson 2
Clemson 5, North Carolina 4 (11)

Since last week’s NC State-Virginia meeting was moved to Sunday due to weather, North Carolina and Clemson played in the first ESPNU Monday Night Baseball game of the season. The Tigers defeated the top-ranked Tar Heels on national television (with many tuned in waiting for the Powerade Jam Fest), taking a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Jay Baum scored on a Garrett Boulware ground out to shortstop Michael Russell to provide the game-winning run.

North Carolina claimed the first two games of the series behind sparkling pitching performances. Kent Emanuel took the win in Saturday’s opener, allowing one run over eight innings while striking out five Tigers. Sunday’s game was suspended until Monday afternoon due to weather, forcing out Benton Moss (who had struck out six of the nine Clemson batters he faced over 2 2/3 shutout innings) in favor of freshman Trent Thornton. Thornton pitched the remaining 6 1/3 innings without surrendering a run, while fanning seven Tigers, to lower his season ERA to a conference-best 0.68.

Virginia Tech 3, Florida State 2
Florida State 11, Virginia Tech 10
Virginia Tech 8, Florida State 1

Need further evidence that Virginia Tech is a team to watch in the Coastal Division? The Hokies took two games in a weekend series with the Atlantic-leading Florida State Seminoles. While it has been Virginia Tech’s offense that has caught people’s attention, it was their pitching that led the way this weekend.

Brad Markey went the distance for Virginia Tech in the Friday opener, allowing two runs on 11 hits and striking out four Seminoles. In the rubber game, Joe Mantiply took the mound for the Hokies. The senior struck out seven batters over 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one earned run, before giving the ball to Clark Labitan, who pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings for the save.

Virginia 15, Miami 4
Virginia 8, Miami 1
Miami 4, Virginia 3

Virginia hosted Miami in a Coastal Division clash, taking two games in the series. Reed Gragnani led the offense for the Cavaliers. The second baseman was 6-for-12 with nine runs batted in and four runs scored over the weekend. Gragnani improved his 2013 batting average from .253 to .286 with the strong showing against the Hurricanes.

A four-run first inning led Miami in the finale to prevent a sweep. Freshman Grant Heyman’s first career double drove in two of the four runs in the frame. Miami only had five hits in the game, but those four runs were enough to contain the Cavaliers, as Hurricanes’ pitchers Andrew Suarez, Thomas Woodrey, and Eric Nedelijkovic allowed only two earned runs in the game.

Georgia Tech 5, Wake Forest 1
Georgia Tech 8, Wake Forest 1
Wake Forest 8, Georgia Tech 6

Georgia Tech took two of three games in a home series against Wake Forest. However, it was once again the last game of the series that undid the Yellow Jackets. Out of four conference series, Georgia Tech has only won the series finale once. That win came against Boston College.

Georgia Tech’s Dusty Isaacs won a share of ACC Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the Yellow Jackets’ 8-1 win in the second game of the set. The junior right-hander allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out eight Demon Deacons over seven innings. Senior Buck Farmer also pitched well for the Yellow Jackets in the opener, allowing one run and five hits while fanning six over seven innings. The other half of the ACC Pitcher of the Week went to Wake Forest’s Austin Stadler for his efforts in the finale, when he struck out 11 batters over six innings in the 8-6 Demon Deacon win.

NC State 3, Maryland 2
Maryland 3, NC State 2
NC State 9, Maryland 4

The Wolfpack gained a game on Clemson in the Atlantic Division standings, winning two games against the Maryland Terrapins in Raleigh. The first two games were pitchers’ duels. On Friday, Maryland’s Jimmy Reed allowed one earned run over eight innings but lost to NC State’s Carlos Rodon (7 2/3 innings, one earned run, 11 strikeouts). NC State opened with a two-run first inning on Saturday, but fell 3-2 as Brady Kirkpatrick rallied to pitch six shutout innings after the bumpy first.

The two teams scored more runs by the fourth inning of the rubber game than the first two games combined. Unfortunately for Maryland, it was NC State doing most of the scoring, including seven runs in the first two innings. The Wolfpack rode the offense to a 9-4 victory to secure the series.

Duke 13, Boston College 0
Duke 7, Boston College 4
Duke 6. Boston College 0

Boston College’s search for its first win in ACC play continues, as the Eagles suffered a sweep at the hands of Duke in Durham. The Eagles were held to four runs over the series, all of which coming in the second game.

Duke third baseman Jordan Betts was 4-for-10 in the series, with six runs batted in for the Blue Devils. Betts also recorded a home run in the first game and a double in the second game of the series. This helped to earn Betts ACC Player of the Week honors.

Follow Inside the ACC on Twitter at @InsideTheACC. Like Inside the ACC on Facebook. Get your ACC links at ITA’s Daily NewsLink Page. Talk about ACC sports on the ITA Forums.

Leave a Reply