Clemson Upends Yellow Jackets, 10-4, To Conclude ACC Championship Action
May 24, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Ben Paulsen broke a 3-3 tie with a grand-slam home run in the seventh inning and Clemson went on to rout Georgia Tech, 10-4, Saturday in the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Paulsen's homer, his 13th of the season, broke an 0-for-16 streak at the plate in two ACC tournament appearances, and was his first career hit at Clemson with the bases loaded. In addition, Paulsen's grand slam tied the ACC Tournament individual record.
A sophomore first baseman, Paulsen hit the homer off relief pitcher Zach Von Tersch (7-5), who took the loss. Ryan Hinson (3-5), the second of four Clemson pitchers, got the victory for two and one-thirds innings of work.
The Tigers (31-27-1) also got a two-run homer from Jeff Schaus in the third inning, his third of the year, and a solo homer from Wilson Boyd in the sixth. Boyd's homer, his 11th of the year, tied the score at 3-3.
Clemson added three runs in the top of the ninth, highlighted by a run-scoring double by Mike Freeman.
Georgia Tech (39-19), took a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning on Thomas Nichols' two-run homer, his seventh of the year.
While Clemson's run in the ACC Championship came to an end, today's win over the Yellow Jackets helped the Tigers make a stronger case for receiving an NCAA tournament bid next week. The Tigers have played in 21 consecutive regional tournaments, the third-longest active streak in the nation behind Miami and Florida State.
Game 9 Notes: Clemson 10, Georgia Tech 4
Clemson freshman left fielder Jeff Schaus gave Clemson its first lead in the top of the third inning with a two-run home run to right field. All three of Schaus' home runs this season have come in the last 11 days, with the first coming against the College of Charleston on May 16 and the second against Central Florida on May 16.
Schaus, who hit .317 for the year, finished the game 1-for-4 at the plate, with two RBI and two runs scored. He is 7-for-17 (.412) against Georgia Tech this season.
Georgia Tech's Derek Dietrich hit safely in each of his first two at-bats, and finished 3-for-5. With the three hits, Dietrich tied a season and career high.
Clemson center fielder Wilson Boyd tied the game at three with his 11th home run of the season in the sixth inning, and finished the contest with three hits. It was his first three-hit performance since April 5 against Miami.
Georgia Tech pitcher Zach Von Tersch entered in relief for starter Eddie Burns in the top of the seventh inning. The appearance was Von Tersch's first out of the bullpen all season. He had started 13 games prior to today, with a 7-4 overall record during the regular season.
Clemson's Ben Paulsen hit his first-ever grand slam, which also tied for an ACC Tournament individual record, to put the Tigers up 7-3 in the seventh inning. Paulsen has 13 home runs this season.
With eight hits through seven innings, Clemson matched its total from the first two tournament games combined. The Tigers hit safely six times against Miami on Wednesday, before managing only two hits against NC State Thursday night. Clemson finished with 13 hits.
Georgia Tech reliever Andrew Robinson came on to close out the ninth inning for the Yellow Jackets. Robinson now leads Tech and ranks fourth in the ACC with 31 appearances this season.
Clemson, which improved to 32-26-1 with the victory, is 98-55 in 35 all-time appearances in the ACC Championship. The Tigers own 24 more victories than NC State, which has the second-most tournament wins (74).
Clemson leads the all-time ACC Championship series against Georgia Tech, 14-9.