May 22, 2002
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Steve Reba worked eight shutout innings and Khalil Green homered to lead fourth-seeded Clemson (45-12) to a 10-0 win over fifth-seeded Georgia Tech (44-13) in the first round of the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on Wednesday morning at Florida Power Park. The Yellow Jackets were shut out for the first time since Reba tossed a complete game, three-hitter on April 20, 2001 at Clemson.
The Tigers, ranked fifth in the nation this week, advance in the ACC Tournament where they will face Florida State on Thursday at 5 p.m. The Yellow Jackets, ranked seventh, fall to the loser’s bracket and will face Duke on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
Reba (12-2) held Tech to seven hits over eight innings, issuing one walk and striking out three batters. He needed just 100 pitches and allowed just one Tech base runner to advance past second base. Steven Jackson worked a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the shutout.
The Clemson defense aided Reba’s effort by turning four double plays in the game. Tech had the leadoff runner reach base in four of the first six innings of the game, but failed to score each time.
“It was one of our worst played games this season,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “I thought [starting pitcher] Chris Goodman pitched very well, but we did not help him out defensively. If we catch three fly balls, then that eliminates six of Clemson’s runs.
“But I give credit to Steve Reba. He pitched a very good game, and did a good job of getting the double play balls when he needed them. We hit into four double plays and couldn’t get a two-out base hit all game. Now we have our work cut out for us against either Florida State or Duke tomorrow.”
Clemson took control early after jumping to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. After Jeff Baker was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, Michael Johnson tripled off the center field wall. A short pop fly that was dropped by Tech left fielder Matt Murton allowed Johnson to score. Russell Triplett singled, and Roberto Valiente provided the big blow of the inning with a two-out, two-run single up the middle.
A two-run homer from Greene, his team-leading 22nd of the season, gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead in the fifth inning. Clemson added two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh after Tech right fielder Brandon Boggs dropped a fly ball with two outs. Clemson scored twice in the eighth inning with a two-out double from Johnson, a pop-fly that fell between three Tech fielders.
Tech starter Chris Goodman (6-1) took the loss after allowing six runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits in six innings of work. Four of Clemson’s 10 runs in the game were unearned.
Tech’s second round game of the ACC Tournament will be carried live on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com, while live scoring and boxscores for all games of the tournament is available at www.theacc.com.