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Seminoles defeat Wolfpack for sixth ACC Baseball Championship title
DURHAM, N.C. (theACC.com) – One week ago, Florida State sat pondering a disappointing finish to its regular season. On Sunday afternoon, the Seminoles claimed the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship trophy and strengthened their case as a possible national seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Championship MVP Boomer Biegalski won his second game of the tournament while pitching in relief for the first time this season, and John Sansone delivered a three-run homer as fourth-seeded FSU turned back sixth-seeded NC State, 6-2, before a title game record crowd of 9,759 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The nationally 10th-ranked Seminoles (41-19) completed a 4-0 week in claiming the sixth ACC Baseball Championship title in program history. This year’s championship is the first won in Durham by FSU, which had come up short in each of its previous four title-game appearances in the Bull City.
NC State (34-21) lost for just the third time in the last 16 games. After a strong ACC Championship run that included wins over the No. 2 and No. 3 seeded teams in the field, the Wolfpack is optimistic of landing an NCAA Tournament berth when the field is announced Monday afternoon.
Biegalski (7-4), who came on in the fourth, pitched 4.2 innings, allowing one hit and walking one batter. The 6-foot-2 right-hander struck out five to push his total for the season to 116. In his two ACC Championship wins, Biegalski allowed no runs on five hits in 11 innings while walking just two batters and striking out 12.
NC State starter Johnny Piedmonte (1-1) took the loss, yielding four runs and three hits in 3.1 innings while walking one and striking out four.
Sansone staked the Seminoles to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third, sending an 0-1 pitch from Wolfpack starter Johnny Piedmonte over the wall in left for his eighth home run of the year. Sansone’s shot followed Taylor Walls’ leadoff single and a one-out walk to Josh Delph.
NC State got two runs back in the fourth in somewhat unconventional fashion.
After FSU starter Bryant Holtmann issued a pair of base hits and a walk to load the bases, Jake Fincher greeted Biegalski’s entrey into the game with a high pop fly that fell amidst several Seminoles between the mound and home plate.
Wolfpack runner Joe Dunand broke from third and was originally called out as the throw beat him to the plate. But because the infield fly rule had been invoked, the play at home was not a force-out. After several minutes of discussion, Dunand was ruled safe and Fincher automatically out, making the score 3-1.
Meanwhile, both of NC State’s other runners moved up on the play. The runner on third – Bubby Riley – raced home on a wild pitch as Biegalski worked to Josh McLain and slid in safely, pulling the Wolfpack within 3-2.
But the Seminoles answered quickly in the bottom of the fourth, with Danny De La Calle’s bases-loaded single drove home two runs to push FSU’s lead to 5-2. The inning that began so strangely ended in similar fashion, as NC State turned a double play – with the outs coming at home plate and third base – to avoid further damage.
That ended the scoring on both sides until the bottom of the seventh, when Quincy Nieporte’s two-out RBI double provided FSU with an insurance run and the final 6-2 margin.
Of note: The crowd of 9,759 on Sunday broke the previous championship game record of 8,697 for the 2013 meeting between North Carolina and Virginia Tech, which was also played at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The total attendance of 64,140 for this year’s ACC Baseball Championship ranks as the third-highest in tournament history.
2015 ACC Baseball Championship All-Tournament Team
C – Andrew Knizner, NC State
1B – Christopher Barr, Miami
2B – Ryne Willard, NC State
3B – Kyle Fiala, Notre Dame
SS – Logan Ratledge, NC State
OF – Ben DeLuzio, Florida State
OF – Bubby Riley, NC State
OF – Nick Solak, Louisville
Util/DH –Chris Marconcini, Florida State
P – Boomer Biegalski, Florida State
P – Brian Brown, NC State
MVP – Boomer Biegalski, Florida State