May 22, 2002
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Clemson scored four runs in the second and Steve Reba pitched eight scoreless innings in a 10-0 victory over Georgia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday afternoon at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, FL. The Tigers (45-12) broke a three-game losing streak to Georgia Tech (44-13) in the ACC Tournament and improved its record to 11-7 against the Yellow Jackets in ACC Tournament play. Clemson avenged its last meeting with Tech in 2002, an 11-0 loss on May 6, with its fourth shutout of the season. It was the first time Georgia Tech had been shutout in 2002.
Reba (12-2) earned the win for Clemson by throwing eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits while walking two and striking out three. The senior kept the Yellow Jackets at bay with ground ball outs and he yielded only two flyball outs in his outing. Chris Goodman (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season for Georgia Tech after allowing eight runs, four earned, and nine hits over six innings.
Clemson jumped on the board in the second inning. Jeff Baker. Johnson scored one play later when left fielder Matt Murton dropped Jarrod Schmidt’s fly ball. The Tigers then put runners on second and third with two outs for leadoff batter Roberto Valiente. The Tampa, FL, native, who entered into the game with a team-leading .533 batting average with runners in scoring position, came through with a two-run single that put Clemson ahead 4-0.
Tech threatened in the fifth inning after Jason Perry’s leadoff double. He moved to third on a flyout and a walk to Matthew Boggs put runners at the corners with one out. Reba got out of the jam by getting Brandon Boggs to ground into his second double play of the game. The double play was one of four on the day for Clemson, tying a season high set against Wake Forest on April 28.
Clemson extended the lead to 6-0 in the fifth. After Kyle Frank’s leadoff single, Key West, FL, native Khalil Greene hit a towering fly ball over the fence in center for his team-leading 22nd home run of the year. A leadoff walk to Greene and a single by Baker chased Goodman in the seventh. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs when David Slevin hit a fly ball to right field. Georgia Tech’s Brandon Boggs’ misplayed the ball, allowing two runs to score. Johnson added a two-run double in the eighth inning to make the final margin 10-0.
Johnson went 3-5 with three RBIs to lead the Clemson offense while Greene and Valiente each had two hits and two RBIs. Steven Jackson pitched a scoreless ninth to close the game.
Clemson will next face the winner of the Florida State-Duke matchup Thursday afternoon at 5:00 PM.
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