May 27, 2004
SALEM, Va. (AP) – Micah Owings drove in the go-ahead run with an infield grounder, Clifton Remole hit a three-run double and Georgia Tech beat Clemson 11-7 in 13 innings Thursday night in the ACC tournament.
Owings’ grounder was fielded by Tigers third baseman Brad McCann, who hesitated to make the throw to first, looked toward home, then threw wildly to first as Eric Patterson raced down the line from third base.
After Brandon Boggs was intentionally walked to load the bases, Remole pulled Patrick Hogan’s next pitch inside the right-field line and three runs scored. Whit Robbins’ RBI single an out later made it 11-6.
John Goodman (4-1) allowed a run in the bottom of the inning, but the top-seeded Yellow Jackets held on to move one victory from an automatic berth in the championship game – and a chance to defend their title.
It also was the Yellow Jackets’ 19th consecutive victory.
Georgia Tech (40-17) will play the winner of the late game between Florida State and Duke for that pass into the championship game. The Tigers (35-23) will play the late game loser in an elimination game.
The rally against Hogan (2-3) came four innings after Owings couldn’t complete a pitching gem, allowing three runs in the bottom of the ninth that tied it, and after subsequent threats by both teams fizzled.
Patterson, who earlier had a streak of 29 consecutive steals broken, singled leading off the 13th and stole second. After a groundout, Steven Blackwood was intentionally walked and Owings hit his slow grounder toward third. Patterson seemed to distract McCann racing by and all were safe.
After another intentional walk, Remole laced his insurace double.
Clemson got a triple from Tony Sipp and an RBI double from Travis Storrer in its half, but McCann popped out and Lou Santangelo made the final out, Boggs catching his long drive against the centerfield fence.
It was a wild ending that kept fans from both teams in their seats.
Owings took a four-hitter into the ninth, and hadn’t allowed any hits since the second inning, but threw 146 pitches and couldn’t finish it.
The Tigers’ rally in the ninth started with one out when Tyler Colvin singled and Russell Triplett followed with a single. After Remole made a diving snag of pinch-hitter John Ingram’s sinking line drive for the second out, Owings then gave up a run-scoring double to Sipp, who had walked three times, and a game-tying double to the wall in the left-center gap to Travis Storrer. Storrer’s third hit came on Owings’ 142nd pitch.
He threw four more, intentionally walking McCann, before Nick Wagner came on and got Santangelo to ground out to second to end the inning.
Before fading, Owings had been masterful, allowing three hits and a three-run homer in the first, then holding the Tigers hitless from a one-out single in the second until the ninth. He struck out nine, walked four and even drove in a run and then scored the run to tie it in the sixth.
Trailing 3-0 before it came to bat, Georgia Tech got one back in the third, two more in the sixth and went ahead 4-3 in the seventh when No. 9 hitter Mike Trapani homered just inside the left-field foul pole.
It was just the fourth home run of the year for Trapani.
Georgia Tech extended its edge to 6-3 in the eighth on Mike Nickeas’ RBI single and a sacrifice fly to center by Eric Patterson.
Earlier, Nickeas tripled and scored on Whit Robbins’ groundout in the third, and Owings doubled home one run in the sixth and scored from second on a pair of wild pitches by Tigers starter Robert Rohrbaugh.
The Tigers did some fast damage against Owings in the first as Sipp walked leading off, Storrer singled and McCann hit his 14th homer.