May 28, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The #7 seeded Virginia Cavaliers (41-17) continued their thrilling run in the 2005 ACC Baseball Championship and advanced to the ACC Championship game for just the third time in school history after UVa defeated the #2 seeded Clemson Tigers (39-21) by the score of 5-4 at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after three innings of play, and again, used a strong pitching performance to hand Clemson its second loss against Virginia in the tournament. UVa will now await the winner of the #1 seed Georgia Tech verses #4 seed Florida State game and will play in the ACC Championship contest on Sunday, May 29th at 1:00 PM.
Virginia, which now stands 3-0 in the ACC Tournament after defeating Clemson twice and #6 seed N.C. State once, is making its third ACC Championship appearance after playing in the title games in 1982 and 1996. UVa lost to North Carolina 3-2 in 1982 and defeated Florida State 12-1 in 1996.
After one scoreless inning of play, Virginia posted the first run of the game and took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Cavaliers' Brandon Guyer led off the side with a single to center field before he scored a run four batters later on a RBI-single up the middle by Kyle Werman.
UVa extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third inning by scoring three more runs. After the Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out, Scott Headd's bases loaded single dropped in fair along the right field line to score Matt Street (who walked to lead off the side) and Ryan Zimmerman (singled to reach base) to make it 3-0. One batter later, Tom Hagan poked an RBI-single into center field to drive in Sean Doolittle to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
Clemson got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning and cut Virginia's lead to 4-3 by scoring three runs in the side itself. The Tigers' Brad Chalk got things started when he singled to lead off the side before advancing to second on an error. Three batters later, Chalk scored a run on a RBI-single up the middle by Kris Harvey to make it 4-1. In the Tigers' next at-bat, Travis Storrer connected on a two-run home run to right field that also plated Harvey to trim UVa's lead to 4-3.
But Virginia put another run on the scoreboard and stretched its lead to 5-3 when Mike Campagna singled up the middle and then advanced two bases on a costly error to end up on third. After Campagna singled, Clemson's Stan Widmann threw the ball away on the play which allowed Campagna to advance all the way to third base. Widmann's error would come back to haunt the Tigers because two batters later, Campagna scored the eventual game-winning run on a sacrifice fly RBI to center field by Tim Henry,
The Tigers came back and cut the Cavaliers' lead to one run at 5-4 in the top of the eighth inning when Harvey hit a solo home run to right-center field to lead off the inning. Harvey's home run was his 22nd of the season.
Clemson threatened to wash away UVa's lead on several occasions, but the Cavaliers' pitching staff wasn't having it and turned away the Tigers' bats on multiple occasions. Clemson had runners in scoring position but was unable to come up with the key hit as Virginia secured the one-run victory.
UVa's Doolittle (3-0) posted his third win of the season and pitched 3.1 innings in relief duty. He allowed just one run on four hits and struck out a game-high five batters in victory. The Cavaliers' Casey Lambert recorded his 14th save of the season after he pitched 1.0 scoreless inning and allowed one hit while striking out one batter.
UVa starting pitcher Mike Ballard went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs on five hits and struck out three batters in a no-decision.
Clemson starting pitcher Kris Harvey was chased from the game after just 2.1 innings of action after he allowed four runs on six hits and walked two batters with one strikeout.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Sunday, May 29th when Virginia plays the winner of the Georgia Tech vs. Florida State contest.
-- UVa --
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Director of News Content
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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