Jacksonville, FL -
Wally Crancer's walkoff single in the 10th inning scored Michael Fisher to give #7 Georgia Tech an 8-7 win over #2 Clemson in the ACC Tournament on Saturday afternoon at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The two teams will matchup again on Saturday night to determine the winner of the bracket. The loss broke Clemson's 17-game overall winning streak and 15-game winning streak against ACC teams. The Yellow Jackets improved to 45-15, while the Tigers fell to 45-14 on the season.
John Goodman (2-0) earned the win, as he retired both batters he faced in the 10th inning. He was the last of seven pitchers used by the Yellow Jackets. Daniel Moskos (4-5) allowed three runs on five hits in 2.0 innings pitched, and suffered the loss. The loss was Clemson's first of the season when leading after eight innings, as its record in those games fell to 42-1.
Whit Robbins and Fisher each had three hits for Georgia Tech, while Steven Blackwood had a game-high three RBIs. Clemson, who out-hit Georgia Tech 15-14, was led at the plate by Brad Chalk, who went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, and two walks, therefore reached base five times. Tyler Colvin extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a 3-for-6 and two-RBI performance. Colvin also had two of the team's five stolen bases.
The Tigers left a season-high 17 runners on base, four more than their previous season high of 13, and at least one in all 10 innings. Ten of the 17 were left in scoring position as well. Clemson had 24 baserunners in the game, but only seven scored.
Georgia Tech ended several other Tiger streaks in the game. Clemson had not allowed more than three runs for 11 straight games and more than four runs for 19 games in a row before Saturday afternoon's contest. An opponent had not tallied more than 10 hits in a game in 21 consecutive games as well dating back to Georgia Tech's 21-hit performance against the Tigers on April 16.
Georgia Tech got on the board first in the first inning. After Josh Cribb just missed on a two-strike pitch, Matt Wieters hit the next pitch over the wall in centerfield for a solo homer, his ninth of the season.
Clemson responded with a run in the top of the second inning. Andy D'Alessio led off with a single through the right side but was erased on a fielder's choice groundout by Stan Widmann. D.J. Mitchell beat out an infield single when first-baseman Luke Murton was slow to run to the bag after fielding the grounder, then both Widmann and Mitchell moved up a base on Adrian Casanova's flyout to deep centerfield. Herman Demmink was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Chalk walked on four pitches to bring home Widmann. Georgia Tech ended the Tiger threat by inducing a groundout off the bat of Marquez Smith.
The Yellow Jackets took the lead back in the bottom of the second inning. Mike Trapani drew a walk, and two batters later Fisher hit a two-out single up the middle. Blackwood then blooped the first pitch to shallow right-center to plate Trapani, giving Georgia Tech a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, Casanova hit a one-out single up the middle and went to second on Demmink's single through the left side. Chalk followed with a single up the middle to plate Casanova. After Smith struck out for out #2, Colvin grounded a single through the right side, as Demmink slid head-first just ahead of the throw from Crancer to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. Harbin then flew out to shallow left field for the inning-ending out with runners on second and third.
Georgia Tech took the lead right back in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to another two-out hit. Trapani hit a one-out single through the left side. Two batters later, Fisher singled through the right side. After fouling off several full-count pitches, Blackwood hit a two-out double to left-center to plate Trapani and Fisher.
Clemson threatened again in the fifth inning, but came up empty. D'Alessio led off with a single through an infield shift. After Widmann sacrificed D'Alessio to second, Mitchell walked. Casanova flew out to deep left field for out #2, and Demmink lined a single to shortstop to load the bases. Fisher appeared to have made the leaping catch, but the ball came loose. The Yellow Jackets got out of the inning again when Chalk struck out. Through five innings, Clemson left 11 runners on base, including six in scoring position.
The following half inning, Georgia Tech scored after the first two batters were retired. Robbins singled to left field, then the next three batters drew walks off Ryan Hinson, including the last by Andy Hawranick to score Robbins.
In the eighth inning, Chalk led off with a bloop double to left-center. As Smith drew a 3-0 walk, Chalk advanced to third on a passed ball. Colvin struck out for out #1, then Smith stole second base without a throw. The Yellow Jackets decided to walk Harbin intentionally to face D'Alessio. But Tim Ladd walked D'Alessio on a 3-2 pitch to bring home Chalk. In came Brad Rulon, and Widmann lined a 2-2 pitch to left field for a single, scoring Smith and Harbin for the tying and go-ahead runs.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Fisher led off with a walk on four pitches, and in came Moskos. Blackwood tried to move the runner up, but Moskos fielded his bunt and threw to second for out #1. Crancer then struck out and Wieters flied out to right field to end the threat.
Clemson added a run in the ninth inning to take a two-run lead. Chalk beat out an infield hit with one out, stole second, and went to third on Smith's groundout. Colvin followed with a line-drive single to right field to plate Chalk.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Jeff Kindel led off with a single through the right side and went to third on Robbins' double past a diving Colvin in left-center. Murton followed with a single to shortstop to score Kindel and advance Robbins to third. Ryan Tinkoff grounded into a double play, but Robbins scored the tying run.
In the top of the 10th inning, Widmann hit a hard grounder that Fisher could not come up with at shortstop. Before throwing a pitch to Mitchell, Michael Hutts' pickoff attempt at first was wild and rolled down the right-field line, allowing Widmann to advance to third base with one out. After Goodman came in the game to pitch, Head Coach Jack Leggett called on Ben Hall to pinch-hit. Hall flied out to centerfield, as Widmann decided not to test Blackwood's arm. Casanova then grounded out to second to end the inning.
Fisher led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a double down the right-field line. After Blackwood was hit by a pitch, Crancer singled over the third-base bag, as the Tigers were expecting a sacrifice bunt and Smith was playing in at third. Fisher scored on the play, giving the Yellow Jackets the walkoff win.
Clemson will face #7 Georgia Tech on Saturday evening at approximately 9:30 PM (unofficial) to determine the winner of the bracket. The Tigers will be the visitors and occupy the first-base dugout. The winner of the Clemson-Georgia Tech game will play the winner of Saturday evening's Florida State-N.C. State game on Sunday afternoon.