May 25, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The #7 seeded Virginia Cavaliers (39-17) won their seventh consecutive game and snapped the #2 seeded Clemson Tigers' (37-20) nine-game winning streak after UVa posted an 8-1 victory in the 2005 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championships at the Baseball Grounds at Jacksonville. Virginia broke open a 2-1 game in the top of the eighth inning by scoring five runs in the side and received a solid pitching outing by the trio of starter Jeff Kamrath and relievers Sean Doolittle and Josh Myers to defeat the Tigers.
"This was a big win for us to go 1-0 in the ACC Tournament," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "Jeff Kamrath pitched and outstanding game and got us deep into the ballgame. (Clemson's) Stephan Faris is an outstanding pitcher, and fortunately our guys kept battling and battling and we were able to knock him out of the game and get to their bullpen. We got a lot of key hits in this ballgame, especially by Tom Hagan, to give us some separation in the game. Now we'll look forward to battling N.C. State tomorrow for the right to move on to the semifinals."
Virginia scored the first run of the game and took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning after the Tigers committed a costly error. UVa's Kyle Werman reached base when Clemson's shortstop Stan Widmann bobbled a ground ball to lead off the side before he scored a run two batters later on a RBI-single to right field by Matt Street.
Clemson came back in the bottom half of the third inning and scored its first run of the game to tie the contest at 1-1. The Tigers' Adrian Casanova led off the side with a double into the right field corner before he scored a run three batters later on a RBI-single to left field by Taylor Harbin.
But the Cavaliers regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning for good and made it a 2-1 ballgame. Ryan Zimmerman reached base to lead off the side after being hit by a pitch before Doolittle singled to center field to advance Zimmerman to third base. Two batters later, Scott Headd plated Zimmerman on a fielder's choice ground out to give UVa a one-run lead.
In the top of the eighth inning, Virginia broke the game wide open and scored five runs in the side to take a 7-1 lead. After a fly out to center field to start off the inning, the next five Cavaliers that stepped to the plate got on base and scored a run. UVa's Brandon Guyer got things started when he was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Headd walked to put runners on the corners. In Virginia's next at-bat, UVa's Hagan made it a 3-1 game when he doubled down the right field line to score Guyer. With runners on second and third, Mike Campagna made it a 4-1 contest when his RBI-single plated Headd. Campagna advanced to second on the thrown in his at-bat to put runners on second and third to set the table for Kyle Werman. Werman then delivered a two-run RBI-single to left center field to drive in Hagan and Campagna to push the lead to 6-1. After Werman advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Henry, he scored a run one batter later on a RBI-single to center field by Street to give the Cavaliers a 7-1 lead.
Virginia extended its lead to 8-1 in the top of the ninth inning when Guyer was again hit by a pitch. He later scored UVa's third run of the game after a batter reached base after being hit by a pitch - this time on Clemson's third error of the contest, to give the Cavaliers a seven-run advantage.
UVa Kamrath (9-4) picked up the win after going 6.1 innings and allowed just one run on eight hits and struck out five batters. Doolittle pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in relief and allowed just one hit and stuck out two before Myers closed out the contest after going 0.2 inning and struck out one batter.
Clemson's Faris (6-4) took the loss after he went 7.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and struck out four batters.
With the victory, Virginia is now 1-0 in the ACC Tournament, while the loss drops Clemson to 0-1 in the event.
UVa will return to action on Thursday, May 26 when the Cavaliers face the #6 seeded N.C. State Wolfpack at 4:00 PM at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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