May 26, 2012
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Greensboro, NC –
Starter Jake Davies allowed only two hits and one run in 6.0 innings pitched and added a two-run homer in the first inning to lead Georgia Tech to a 5-1 win over Clemson in the ACC Tournament in front of 3,272 fans at NewBridge Bank Park on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets, who won their bracket with a 3-0 record and advanced to Sunday’s ACC Championship game, improved to 35-24 on the season. The Tigers, who finished with a 1-2 record in the ACC Tourney, fell to 33-26 in 2012.
Davies’ two-out, two-run homer in the first inning provided all the runs the Yellow Jackets would need. Steve Wilkerson led off the game with a homer for the Tigers, but Davies combined with Alex Cruz to shut the Tiger bats down during the remainder of the game after Clemson had totaled 35 combined hits in the final two games of the regular-season series in Atlanta. Neither team scored a run after the third inning after Georgia Tech added one run in the second inning and two runs in the third inning.
Davies (1-3) earned his first win of the season by tossing 6.0 strong innings. He gave up just two hits, one run, and one walk with three strikeouts. Cruz recorded his second save of the season by pitching 3.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball with two strikeouts.
Clemson starter Kevin Pohle (6-4) suffered the loss, as he surrendered six hits, four runs, and no walks with one strikeout in 2.0 innings pitched. Scott Firth pitched 6.1 innings in relief, allowing only four hits, one unearned run, and three walks with two strikeouts.
The Yellow Jackets took the game’s first lead in the top of the first inning. Kyle Wren led off with a single through the left side on a 1-2 pitch. Three batters later with two outs, Davies hit a two-run homer to right field, his 13th long ball of the season and fourth of the ACC Tournament.
In the bottom of the first inning, Wilkerson led off with a home run to left field, his first career long ball.
Daniel Spingola lined a one-out double down the left-field line in the second inning and scored on Thomas Smith’s double down the right-field line.
In the third inning, Brandon Thomas led off with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on Davies’ flyout to right field. Daniel Palka reached on a fielding error by first-baseman Jon McGibbon as Thomas scored, then Zane Evans ripped a double down the left-field line to plate Palka and up Georgia Tech’s lead to 5-1.
In the seventh inning, Jason Stolz lined a two-out single to left field and Brad Felder laced a single to right field. Spencer Kieboom walked to load the bases, but Wilkerson grounded out to first to end the inning.
Dominic Attanasio led off the ninth inning with a single to left field, Clemson’s first leadoff batter to reach base since the first inning. McGibbon reached on a fielder’s choice to second as Attanasio was retired at second base. Stolz struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch for out #2, then Felder struck out swinging to end the game.
Evans went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI to pace Georgia Tech, who amassed 10 hits. Six of the Yellow Jackets’ 10 hits were extra-base hits.
Five different Tigers had one hit apiece, including Wilkerson’s solo homer to account for Clemson’s lone run of the contest.
Clemson will await word from the NCAA Baseball Committee on the 64-team NCAA Tournament field. That announcement will be on Monday at 12:00 PM and will be televised by ESPNU.
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