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Clemson gets past North Carolina in 2009 ACC Baseball Championship, 4-3 in 11 innings

Posted Sunday, May 24, 2009

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Durham, NC - Wilson Boyd's two-out single off the wall in left drove home the winning run, lifting Clemson past North Carolina 4-3 in 11 innings Saturday in front of a historic crowd at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The round-robin game of the 2009 ACC Baseball Championships drew 6,956 fans, the largest crowd ever to see a college baseball game in the state of North Carolina. The Tigers (40-19) eliminated the Tar Heels (42-16) from title-game contention. Both UNC and Clemson finished 1-2 in round-robin play.

Clemson took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning, but the Tar Heels scrambled to tie the game on Ben Bunting's RBI single up the middle. The Tar Heels missed a great chance to take the lead in the top of the 10th when Clemson leftfielder Jason Stolz threw UNC catcher Mark Fleury out at the plate for the third out of the inning.

The Tigers put themselves in position to win in the 11th when second baseman Jason Freeman dribbled a 15-foot single toward third, then advanced all the way to third base on pitcher Patrick Johnson's two-base throwing error. Johnson (L, 2-2) intentionally walked two batters to load the bases.

After Kyle Parker struck out on a full count second out of the inning, Boyd lined a 3-2 pitch off the Blue Monster to drive Freeman home with the winning run.

Clemson's Graham Stoneburner (W, 6-3) got the victory with one inning of scoreless relief.

Tiger starter Casey Harmon scattered seven hits over seven and a third innings, striking out a career high 10 batters.

He gave up a scratch run in the third, when UNC centerfielder Mike Cavasinni struck out, but reached when catcher John Nester mishandled his swinging third strike. After a sacrifice, Cavasinni scored on Kyle Seager's two-out single.

UNC's second run came on Dustin Ackley's solo homer over the Blue Monster in left. It was the 20th home run of the season for the Tar Heel first baseman, tying him with Duke's Nate Freiman for the league lead.

Clemson posted single runs in the second, third and fourth innings off UNC starter Matt Harvey. Shortstop Brad Miller drove in the first with an RBI double to the gap in right-center; centerfielder Wilson Boyd singled home a run in the third; and Freeman homered to right in the fourth.

Notes

 

  • The extra inning game was the 37th in ACC Baseball Championship History. It is also the first time that Clemson and North Carolina have needed extra innings in the 36 previous meetings.
  • This was the 8th game to end in the 11th inning in ACC Baseball Championship history.
  • Clemson is now 8-2 in extra innings while North Carolina falls to 5-9 in extra inning games in the ACC Championship.
  • North Carolina's Dustin Ackley hit his 20th home run this season and his third in this year's Championship which leads all student-athletes.
  • Clemson's last extra inning ACC Baseball Championships game was in 2007 when the Tigers downed Miami, 5-4 in 13 innings. The last extra innings game for North Carolina was a 8-7 loss to Virginia in 2008.
  • Clemson is now 4-1 in extra inning games this season.
  • Game eleven's attendance of 6,956 sets a North Carolina College Baseball record. It breaks last nights' attendance record of 6,319.
  • The total attendance for the first ten games of the Championship is 33,595. At this point, the attendance for the week is the 12th largest in ACC Baseball Championship history.
  • There have been 18 home runs hit in the ten games of the ACC Baseball Championship. None have hit the famous "Durham Bull." However, Virginia's John Hicks hit a home run off the clouds on the lower left portion of the sign on Thursday night but did not hit the bull proper.
  • Game ten duration of 3:16 to raise the average game time to 2:57. There have been 32 hours and 27 minutes of total action so far.
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