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ACC/SEC BASEBALL TOURNAMENT ROUNDUP: Ga. Tech beats Clemson to reach ACC title game

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Pitcher Jake Davies homered and Georgia Tech claimed a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by beating Clemson 5-1.

Davies drove in two runs and allowed two hits in six innings on Saturday to help the eighth-seeded Yellow Jackets (35-24) improve to 3-0 in the round-robin tournament.

Zane Evans added three hits and an RBI, and Daniel had two hits for Georgia Tech, which never trailed.

Steve Wilkerson hit a solo home run for Clemson (33-26), which finished the tournament 1-2.

Virginia 7, Florida State 0: Derek Fisher and Colin Harrington drove in two runs apiece and Virginia beat Florida State 7-0 on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament.

Artie Lewicki struck out four and allowed three hits in seven innings for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers (38-17-1). They finished pool play with a 2-1 record and sent the top-seeded Seminoles (43-15) to a surprising 0-3 finish in the tournament.

Virginia led 1-0 in the fourth inning before breaking the game open by scoring six runs in the seventh inning.

Devon Travis had two of Florida State’s five hits.

North Carolina 4, N.C. State 0, 12 innings: Adam Griffin’s bases-loaded single in the 12th inning sparked a four-run burst that lifted North Carolina past North Carolina State 4-0 on Saturday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament.

The victory by North Carolina (44-14) means Miami will play Georgia Tech in the championship game Sunday. N.C. State (39-17) would have played Tech for the title with a win.

Griffin came up big in the 12th by singling home the game’s first run. Mike Zolk and Parks Jordan followed with RBI singles and Chaz Frank added a run-scoring sacrifice fly.

Winning pitcher Michael Morin allowed one hit with five strikeouts in five innings. The crowd of 10,229 set records for both an ACC tournament game and a college baseball game in the state.


Vandy pulls off triple steal in win over Florida

HOOVER, Ala. — Vanderbilt pulled off a triple steal in a five-run ninth inning that included six stolen bases as the Commodores ran their way to an 8-6 victory over Florida in the Southeastern Conference tournament Saturday.

Anthony Gomez singled home the go-ahead run — and then stole second, third and home — for Vanderbilt (33-25), which is aiming for its first SEC tournament title since 2007.

The Commodores, who reached the final game for the sixth time in nine trips under coach Tim Corbin, face Mississippi State in Sunday’s championship game.

Vanderbilt fueled the comeback win over the Gators (42-18) with its flurry of stolen bases that included the triple steal with the bases loaded when Gomez made his dash to home plate.

“It was, ‘Why not?’” Gomez said. “Just try to push them as much as we can.”

He added that the steal of home “kind of happened, spur of the moment.”

Will Cooper held off swinging on the pitch and then delivered a two-run single.

“That was as big of an inning as we’ve had all year,” Corbin said.

The Commodores had entered the inning down 4-3, but touched up closer Austin Maddox for five hits and two walks.

“We got exposed there in the ninth,” Florida coach Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Nobody likes to lose, but I’m glad it happens this week and not next (in an NCAA regional). Trust me, we’ll get that cleaned up.”

Florida scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth and had the bases loaded before Vanderbilt reliever Drew VerHagen got Justin Shafer to pop up to right field on his lone pitch to end the game.

Gomez had two hits and two RBIs, plus the three stolen bases in the ninth.

Brian Johnson went 4 for 5 with four RBIs, including one in the bottom of the ninth, and doubled twice to lead the Gators, whose own comeback bid fell short.

“We showed a lot of fight in our team,” said Johnson, who starred at the plate a day after pitching his first career complete game in a win over South Carolina. “Hopefully it’s a good sign of things to come for what we have coming up next.”

The Commodores started the rally with help from their bench. Pinch-hitters Connor Castellano and Andrew Harris led off with a double and sacrifice bunt, respectively. Mike Yastrzemski then drove in the tying run with a bunt single. He was caught stealing but Kemp moved to third, allowing him to score on Gomez’s dribbler to left.

As it turns out, that was just the start of all the running around.

“That was one of the craziest (innings) I’ve ever been a part of,” Gomez said.

The Gators had loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but reliever Will Clinard (7-2) got Vickash Ramjit to ground into a double play and keep Vanderbilt within one run.


Mississippi State tops Kentucky 2-1 in SEC semis

HOOVER, Ala. — Jonathan Holder picked up his third save of the Southeastern Conference tournament with a scoreless ninth inning and Mississippi State advanced to the championship game with a 2-1 win over Kentucky Saturday.

Holder worked around a throwing error to leave the potential tying run on third, escaping with two grounders and an infield popup. He also got the win in Friday night’s game against LSU.

Mississippi State (38-22) plays either Vanderbilt or Florida for the championship on Sunday. The Bulldogs, who also swept the Wildcats on the regular season’s final weekend, are seeking their seventh SEC tournament title and first since 2005.

Reliever Nick Routt (3-5) snuffed out a potential threat in the fifth, entering when Kentucky (43-16) had two men on base. Routt got A.J. Reed to strike out looking to escape and pitched three more scoreless innings after that.

Bulldogs coach John Cohen called that strikeout “the defining moment of the game.”

“Nick Routt was a star today,” Cohen said. “He was waiting for his opportunity and he got it and took full advantage of it. And Jonathan Holder shut it down in the ninth inning and every time he’s gotten it he’s done an unbelievable job for us.”

Holder had to overcome a defensive miscue to open the inning.

Lucas Witt reached on a throwing error by third baseman Sam Frost — who moved from second for the final inning — and moved to second and third on grounders. Holder then got Austin Cousino to pop up to short stop to end the game and extend his school-record streak of scoreless innings to 27-1/3.

“He’s tough to hit,” said teammate Adam Frazier, who had two hits. “When he comes in, we’re pretty comfortable. The nickname going around is ‘The Truth.’ As long as he keeps doing that, we’ll keep that nickname.”

The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the first three innings and nursed it the rest of the way. Demarcus Henderson led off with a single, moved to second on Mitch Slauter’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single up the middle by Wes Rea.

The Bulldogs used a similar method in the third, producing a run with Frazier’s leadoff single, Brent Brownlee’s sacrifice and Trey Porter’s RBI single up the middle.

Kentucky tied it in the bottom half with J.T. Riddle’s solo home run to right, his fifth of the season. Riddle had three of the Wildcats’ nine hits.

Kentucky starter Corey Littrell (8-2) allowed two runs in six innings.

“It was a great game for the fans,” Kentucky coach Gary Henderson said. “Extremely disappointed that we’re not playing (Sunday). I’m really proud of our guys. They were tough. Clearly it was a rough day for us offensively, but it was just that type of game.”