May 29, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Clemson’s Richie Shaffer scored three runs and drove in three, while freshman Will Lamb pitched 6.1 strong innings to lead the Tigers (38-21) to a 9-3 win over sixth-ranked Georgia Tech (45-13) at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championships at NewBridge Bank Park.
The loss eliminates Georgia Tech from contention for the ACC title game.
“In my mind, we got off to a bad start,” head coach Danny Hall said. “The home run [Richie] Schaffer hit was huge for them, and then we made mistakes by not covering the bag, committing balks on the mound and giving up sac flies. We didn’t play the way we needed to play to stay in the game and compete for a championship tomorrow.”
Shaffer was 2-for-4, scored three runs, and hit a three-run homer for the Tigers, while Brad Miller and Mike Freeman each chipped in two RBI to lead the team.
Lamb (4-4) scattered two Georgia Tech runs over 6 1/3 innings, yielding just six hits on the night. He struck out four in the outing.
The Jackets strung together 10 hits on the evening, but stranded eight base runners in the loss.
Tech starter Jed Bradley was dealt the loss and fell to 9-4 on the year after allowing five runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. Bradley, who entered the game with an average of 10.4 strikeouts per game, recorded just two Saturday in his second-shortest outing of the season.
Schaffer gave Clemson a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, sending a two-out three-run homer over the wall in right field off of Bradley.
The Jackets struck back for a run in the top of the fourth, on back-to-back doubles by Matt Skole and Cole Leonida. Skole led Tech at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, including his 19th home run of the season.
The Tigers extended the lead to 5-1 with a sacrifice fly by John Hinson in the fifth, and another by Freeman in the sixth.
Tech attempted a rally in the seventh, when Jeff Rowland singled home Jay Dantzler from third to cut it to 5-2. Tech had two on and two outs with senior Tony Plagman up to bat, but Clemson reliever Dominic Leone retired Plagman on strikes to end the inning.
The Tigers pushed two more across in the bottom half, with an RBI triple to center by Brad Miller and a single by Freeman on the next at-bat.
Skole belted his solo shot off of Leone in the top of the eighth, but Clemson put the game out of reach with two more runs in the ninth.
The Yellow Jackets now await word as to if they will receive an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Baseball Selection Show will be aired on ESPN Monday at 12:30 p.m., while regional sites will be announced Sunday evening.