Hurricanes Advance to ACC Championship Title Game For First Time
May 24, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jemile Weeks hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Enrique Garcia threw seven scoreless innings to lead top-seeded Miami into the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship title game, defeating North Carolina State 5-2 on Saturday at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
The Hurricanes (46-8) will play Virginia, which improved to 38-19 prior to last night's game against Wake Forest, at 1 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports Net South. Miami swept the regular-season series from the Cavaliers 3-0 at home and have a four-game winning streak against Virginia.
Miami outscored its opponents 27-15 en route to a 3-0 mark in Division A play.
Virginia, the only 2-0 team in Division B of the round-robin format, clinched a spot in the title game Friday night by notching a 5-3 win over second-seeded Florida State.
Weeks broke a scoreless tie with his two-out homer in the third. The 'Canes added two in the fourth on Dave DiNatale's RBI double and Jason Hagerty's run-scoring single.
N.C. State (38-20) scored two in the eighth on an RBI single by Matt Payne and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Marcus Jones.
Garcia (6-2) struck out seven and allowed only three hits. Carlos Gutierrez pitched the final inning and one-third to get his 11th save, and struck out the final two batters with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth.
Jake Buchanan (2-2) got the loss in only his second start of the season.
NC State now joins Clemson and Georgia Tech in waiting to find out their postseason fate when the NCAA Selection Committee announces the 64-team field Monday, May 26, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN. The 16 regional sites will also be determined Sunday, May 25, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
Photographs for any of the games played at this year's ACC Baseball Championship are available for purchase at www.theACC.com/photostore.
Game 10 Notes: Miami 5, NC State 2
Miami's Jemile Weeks put Miami ahead, 3-0, in the bottom of the third inning with his 11th home run of the season. It was his third three-run home run of 2008, and his eighth home run with at least one man on base.
The Hurricanes, who scored four runs in the third inning against Georgia Tech on Thursday, now have outscored their opponents, 72-31, in the third inning of games this season.
Miami's Blake Tekotte walked and scored in the Hurricanes' big third inning. Tekotte has reached base in all but two of Miami's 54 games this season, and has scored at least one run in 41 games. He is tied with teammate Yonder Alonso for second in the league with 72 runs scored.
NC State starter Jake Buchanan struck out Miami's Alonso in each of his first two at-bats. Alonso, a first-team All-ACC selection, had struck out only 26 times in 171 at-bats prior to today, and led the league with 64 walks.
Hurricane designated hitter Dave DiNatale singled and then drove in Miami's fourth run of the game with a double off the wall in right field in inning four. DiNatale, who recorded a pair of home runs in Miami's win over Georgia Tech on Thursday, leads the Hurricanes with 11 total bases and six RBI in three tournament games.
NC State's Tommy Foschi singled, doubled and walked against the Hurricanes. Foschi has recorded two or more hits in all three games this week, and is batting .636 (7-for-11) in the tournament. He is currently the tournament leader with 12 total bases.
Miami starter Enrique Garcia pitched seven innings before being replaced in the top of the eighth. The outing was his fifth this season of seven or more innings, and the fifth in which he has allowed four or fewer hits. Garcia tied a season high with seven strikeouts against the Wolfpack.
NC State got to Miami reliever Kyle Bellamy for three hits and a walk in the eighth inning. The Wolfpack are one of only two teams to record more than two hits against Bellamy in a game this season.
Despite the win, Miami tied its season-low and all-time ACC Championship-low for hits, with five. The Hurricanes managed only five hits on three previous occasions this season, and last did so in the tournament in a 2-1 loss to Georgia Tech in 2006.
Miami will play for the ACC Championship for the first time in school history against the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. With three wins this week, Miami eclipsed its previous win total from three previous appearances in the tournament (2).