May 20, 2009
2009 ACC Championship Site
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DURHAM, N.C. (theACC.com) -- Senior right-hander Adam Warren turned in his strongest starting performance of the season Wednesday night and ACC player of the year Dustin Ackley hammered two home runs to lead North Carolina to an 8-3 victory over Duke in the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship.
Warren (W, 7-2) went eight and a third innings -- the longest outing of his career. He only faltered in the ninth after giving up just one run and five hits in the first eight innings.
Ackley helped get the Tar Heels off to a fast start in the bottom of the first inning, slamming his 18th home run of the season deep into the right field bleachers off Duke starter Christopher Manno (L, 5-6). After singling in the third and driving in a run with a fielder’s choice in the fourth, the UNC first baseman came up big again in the sixth, launching a two-run homer just over the wall in right off Duke reliever Dennis O’Grady. It was Ackley’s 19th homer of the season, tying Duke’s Nate Freiman for the league lead.
The Tar Heels also got a strong offensive contribution from third baseman Kyle Seager, who walked twice, doubled twice and tripled.
Duke managed a single run in the top of the sixth, when right fielder Alex Hassan opened the frame with a double, then scored on a single by catcher Matt Williams. The Blue Devils didn’t threaten again until the ninth when shortstop Jake Lemmermen drove in a pair of runs off reliever Colin Bates.
UNC (42-14) led the ACC’s Coastal Division in the regular season, but lost two of three matchups with the rival Blue Devils (34-23). Both teams are off on Thursday and return to action Friday in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Duke will face Clemson at 4 p.m., while UNC meets Virginia at 8 p.m.
UNC junior first baseman Dustin Ackley homered in both the first and sixth innings. The pair of round-trippers was his fifth and sixth in the month of May and 18th and 19th of the season, which ties him for the conference lead with Duke senior first baseman Nate Frieman. It was also Ackley’s fifth multi-homerun game of the season and seventh of his career.
The UNC win... ...is the Tar Heels’ 65th in ACC Championship play against only 59 losses. ...is the 42nd of the season, which ties the Tar Heels with Coastal Carolina University for tops in the nation. ...improves the Tar Heels to 10-7 in the ACC Baseball Championship as the second seed. ...sets the school record for most wins in a four-year span with 207 from 2005-09. The previous mark of 206 was set by the 2004-08 squads.
Tonight’s two team triples hit by the Tar Heels increases their school single-season record to 27.
Game Three’s attendance of 5,376 is the largest of the first day of the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship. Total attendance after the first day stands at 8,251.
After three games of the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship, there has been three combined home runs. None have hit the famed “Durham Bull.”
UNC senior RHP Adam Warren earned the win by pitching a career-high 8.1 innings (126 pitches) to improve his record to 7-2 and even his record this season against Duke at 1-1. In two starts, he worked 14.0 innings, gave up six runs (four earned) for a 2.57 ERA against the Blue Devils.
Duke has not defeated North Carolina in an ACC Championship since 1996 when it beat the Tar Heels by a 13-3 count.
Tonight’s game marked the first appearance by the Blue Devils in the ACC Championship since 2005.
Duke’s junior lefthanded starting pitcher Christopher Mano took the loss, falling to 5-6 on the season. He pitched five-plus innings, gave up four runs (all earned) on seven hits, struck out three batters, and issued three free passes.
Duke senior first baseman Nate Frieman, who is tied for the ACC lead with 19 homers, remains tied for the school record with 42 career homeruns.
The duration of the game was 2 hours, 47 minutes.