#16 Tigers Defeat #6 Georgia Tech 9-3 in ACC Tournament Saturday


by - Senior Writer -
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GREENSBORO -- The Clemson Tigers now have some momentum.

The Tigers, losers of their first two games in the ACC Tournament, knocked off No. 6 Georgia Tech 9-3 Saturday in front 3,725 fans at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, a win that knocked the Yellow Jackets out of Sunday’s championship game.

Will Lamb pitched 6.1 strong innings and freshmen Richie Shaffer and Spencer Kieboom combined for five hits, three RBIs, and five runs for the 16th-ranked Tigers, who ended ACC Tournament action with a 1-2 record. The Tigers improved to 38-21 on the season while the Yellow Jackets, who were also
1-2 in the ACC Tournament, fell to 45-13.

The win was the 100th in ACC Tournament play for the Tigers, the first school to manage the feat, and they improved to 100-59 all-time in 37 years of ACC Tournament play.

Lamb (4-4) was making his first start on the mound since April 18, also against Georgia Tech, and he allowed just six hits, two runs, and two walks with four strikeouts. It was also his first win since he defeated top-ranked Virginia on the road in the first game of a doubleheader on March 27. Dominic Leone and Kevin Brady combined to fan six batters in the final 2.2 innings pitched, including 2.0 perfect innings with four strikeouts by Brady.

Shaffer’s fourth home run of the season helped the Tigers jump out to an early first inning lead against the Jackets. Mike Freeman lined a one-out single to right-center but was erased at second base on Jeff Schaus' fielder's choice. After Schaus stole second and Kyle Parker reached on a two-out, infield single, Shaffer belted an opposite-field, three-run homer to right field to give the Tigers a 3-0 lead.

The Yellow Jackets scored a single in the fourth, but Clemson responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame. Shaffer grounded a one-out single through the left side, and then advanced to third base on back-to-back balks. John Hinson lined out to left, allowing Shaffer to score on the sacrifice fly to give Clemson a 4-1 lead.

In the fifth inning, Kieboom led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Centerfielder Addison Johnson reached on an infield single to first base when Bradley failed to leave the mound to cover first and after Brad Miller walked to load the bases with no outs, Freeman ripped a liner to center, but right at Jeff Rowland. Kieboom still scored on the sacrifice fly, but the Tigers were unable to add to their 5-1 lead.

The Yellow Jackets put their first leadoff batter of an inning on base in the top of the seventh inning when Jay Dantzler led off with a double to left-center and moved to third on a wild pitch. After the next two Georgia Tech batters were retired, Rowland laced a two-out single through the left side to score Dantzler. Derek Dietrich singled through the left side, but Clemson escaped further damage when Leone struck out Tony Plagman swinging on a 3-2 pitch down and out of the strikezone after being down in the count 3-0.

Clemson added to its lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Kieboom led off with a single through the left side and advanced to second on Johnson's sacrifice bunt. Miller then belted an 0-2 pitch off the wall in center for a triple to score Kieboom. It also extended Miller's hitting streak to 10 games. Freeman flared a 3-2 pitch to left field for a single to plate Miller.

Skole hit the first pitch of the top of the eighth inning over the fence in right-center for a solo home run, his 19th long ball of the year.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Parker led off with an opposite-field, solo homer to right field, his 19th home run of the season. Shaffer reached on a fielding error by Skole at third and advanced to third base on Hinson's single through the left side. After Hinson stole second and Jason Stolz struck out for out #1, Kieboom belted a hard one-hopper, but it was right at Dietrich, who held the runners and threw to first for out #2. Johnson was hit by a 2-2 pitch to load the bases, then Miller reached on an infield single to score Shaffer and up Clemson's lead to 9-3.

In the ninth inning, Brady retired all three batters in order, including two by strikeout, to end the game.

Kieboom, a freshman catcher from Marietta, GA, tallied a game-high and career-high three hits and two runs in just his second career start to lead Clemson, who had 13 hits in the game. Shaffer went
2-for-4 with a three-run homer and three runs, while Miller and Freeman both totaled two hits and two RBIs. Parker added two hits, including a home run, and two runs for Clemson, who was 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Tigers also scored at least eight runs for the seventh game in a row.
Skole paced Georgia Tech's 10-hit attack by going 2-for-3 with a homer, double, and two runs.

Clemson will await word on its next destination as the NCAA Baseball Committee will announce the 16 NCAA Regional host sites on Sunday at approximately 3:30 PM on the BottomLine of the ESPN networks and online at NCAA.com. On Monday at 12:30 PM, the 64-team field will be announced on ESPN.

Georgia Tech 3 (45-13)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Rowland cf..........  5  0  1  1   0  1  2  0   0
Derek Dietrich ss........  5  0  1  0   0  1  3  4   1
Tony Plagman 1b..........  4  0  0  0   0  2  7  2   2
Matt Skole 3b............  3  2  2  1   1  0  2  0   0
Cole Leonida c...........  4  0  2  1   0  0  5  0   0
Chase Burnette rf........  4  0  1  0   0  1  0  0   1
Jay Dantzler lf..........  3  1  2  0   1  1  3  0   0
Thomas Nichols dh........  4  0  0  0   0  1  0  0   3
Jacob Esch 2b............  4  0  1  0   0  3  2  5   0
Jed Bradley p............  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Patrick Long p..........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Jake Davies p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Andrew Robinson p.......  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 36  3 10  3   2 10 24 11   8

Clemson 9 (38-21)

Player                    AB  R  H RBI BB SO PO  A LOB
------------------------------------------------------
Brad Miller ss...........  4  1  2  2   1  0  2  1   0
Mike Freeman 2b..........  4  0  2  2   0  0  0  2   3
Jeff Schaus lf...........  4  1  0  0   0  0  2  0   0
Kyle Parker rf...........  4  2  2  1   0  1  2  0   2
Richie Shaffer 1b........  4  3  2  3   0  0  5  0   0
John Hinson dh...........  3  0  1  1   0  0  0  0   0
Jason Stolz 3b...........  4  0  0  0   0  4  1  0   0
Spencer Kieboom c........  4  2  3  0   0  0 11  0   0
Addison Johnson cf.......  2  0  1  0   0  0  3  0   0
Will Lamb p..............  0  0  0  0   0  0  1  2   0
 Dominic Leone p.........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
 Kevin Brady p...........  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  0   0
Totals................... 33  9 13  9   1  5 27  5   5

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Georgia Tech........ 000 100 110 -  3 10  1
Clemson............. 300 110 22X -  9 13  0
-------------------------------------------

E - SKOLE(17). DP - Georgia Tech 2. LOB - Georgia Tech 8; Clemson 5. 2B -
SKOLE(14); LEONIDA(14); BURNETTE(19); DANTZLER(4). 3B - MILLER(4). HR -
SKOLE(19); PARKER(19); SHAFFER(4). HBP - JOHNSON. SH - JOHNSON(1). SF -
FREEMAN(7); HINSON(4). SB - SCHAUS(7); HINSON(22).

Georgia Tech           IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Jed Bradley.........  4.2  7  5  5  1  2 18 21
Patrick Long........  1.1  1  1  1  0  2  5  5
Jake Davies.........  1.0  2  1  1  0  0  3  4
Andrew Robinson.....  1.0  3  2  1  0  1  7  8

Clemson                IP  H  R ER BB SO AB BF
-----------------------------------------------
Will Lamb...........  6.1  6  2  2  2  4 24 26
Dominic Leone.......  0.2  4  1  1  0  2  6  6
Kevin Brady.........  2.0  0  0  0  0  4  6  6

Win - LAMB (4-4).  Loss - BRADLEY (9-4).  Save - None.
WP - BRADLEY(5); LAMB(2). HBP - by ROBINSON (JOHNSON). BK - BRADLEY 2(3).
Umpires - HP: Nelson Graham  1B: Mark Chapman  2B: Danny Everett  3B: Tony
Maners  Start: 5:47 PM   Time: 2:55   Attendance: 3725
Game notes:
Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall ejected in the bottom of the 7th inning.
Georgia Tech's Jake Davies ejected at the end of the 7th inning.
LONG faced 1 batter in the 7th.
LEONE faced 2 batters in the 8th.

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