2009 ACC Baseball Championship: Virginia Rallies Past Duke, 11-7
May 24, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. (the ACC.com) -- Virginia rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning Saturday night to rally past Duke 11-7 and earn a spot in Sunday's title game of the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship.
The sixth-seeded Cavaliers (42-12-1) will face top-seeded Florida State in the 1 p.m. championship contest at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Duke (35-24) saw its chances of advancing to the finals die in a nightmarish seventh inning.
Leading 4-2, Blue Devil reliever Will Currier had two out and nobody on base when he walked Virginia shortstop Tyler Cannon on a 3-2 pitch. When Currier also walked designated hitter Phil Gosselin, he was replaced on the mound by junior right-hander Michael Ness (L, 2-2).
Ness was unable to retire any of the five batters he faced. He hit two Virginia batters and gave up doubles to right-fielder Dan Grovatt and left-fielder John Barr. Another reached on an error.
Dennis O'Grady, Duke's third pitcher of the inning, surrendered a two-run triple to second baseman Keith Werman before getting out of the inning.
Grovatt's seventh-inning double was just a small part of his offensive contribution to the Virginia win. The sophomore slugger tied a career high with four hits -- three doubles and his seventh home run of the season. He scored three runs and drove in three.
Virginia reliever Tyler Wilson (W, 7-3), who relieved starter Robert Morey in the sixth, held the Blue Devils in check until the eighth, when he gave up three straight doubles and three runs. Kevin Arico pitched a scoreless ninth to wrap up the win.
Duke seized an early lead after some sloppy play by the Cavaliers. In the bottom of the third, the Blue Devils had runners at the corners with two outs when leftfielder Jeremy Gould struck out swinging. But the ball got away from Virginia catcher John Hicks for wild pitch, allowing Duke's Ryan McCurdy to score from third. Shortstop Jake Lemmerman bounced a routine grounder to short that Virginia's Cannon threw into right field for an error, allowing Duke's Matt Williams to score. Gould went to third on the play, then scored when the Cavaliers tried to get Lemmerman on a steal attempt.