FORT MILL, SC (May 19) – Junior Bryan Prince scored on a error in the bottom of the ninth inning as third-ranked Georgia Tech rallied from a 7-0 deficit to defeat sixth-ranked Clemson, 9-8, in the third round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament at Knights Stadium.
The victory guaranteed the Yellow Jackets (45-14) a place in the championship game of the tournament. Tech will face Florida State on Saturday at 12 noon, and will play again at 8 p.m. for the championship if the Jackets beat the Seminoles. Should Tech fall to Florida State, the Jackets will play a championship game on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Clemson (44-15) will play Virginia on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. for a chance to advance to the championship game.
With Clemson leading 8-7 entering the bottom of the ninth, Brad Stockton legged out an infield single to lead off the inning. Mark Teixeira followed with a RBI double to tie the game at 8-8, but was thrown out at third base on the play.
After Clemson closer Nick Glaser (0-2) entered the game, Prince laced a single up the middle. Jason Basil then followed with a walk to advance Prince to second base. Derik Goffena grounded a ball to shortstop Bradley LeCroy that appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but the relay throw from second baseman Ryan Riley sailed over the outstretched arm of first baseman Mike Calitri which allowed Prince to come home with the winning run.
Tech’s Jeff Watchko (4-1) picked up the win after holding Clemson to one run on one hit in the final three innings of the game.
Clemson jumped out to a 7-0 lead through the first three innings after the Tigers roughed up Tech starter Rhett Parrott. But Parrott settled down to hold Clemson scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Tech began its comeback in the fourth when Stockton walked and scored on a RBI double from Teixeira. Tech plated five runs in the sixth to make the score 7-6. Basil deliveded a two-run single while Goffena added a three-run homer, his fourth of the season, in that frame.
Calitri pushed Clemson’s lead to 8-6 with a solo homer in the top of the seventh. However, Tech answered with a RBI groundout from Basil in the bottom of that inning to make the score 8-7.