Miami Captures Its First ACC Baseball Championship Title
May 25, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The University of Miami sent 10 batters to the plate during a four-run first inning and went on to defeat Virginia, 8-4, Sunday afternoon to clinch the championship game of the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Mark Sobolewski, Ryan Jackson and Dennis Raben hit RBI singles in the first off Virginia starter Pat McAnaney (4-5). Miami added three runs in the third, including an RBI double by Blake Tekotte.
Starting pitcher David Gutierrez (4-0) held Virginia scoreless on three hits through the first five innings. He left in the sixth after giving up four consecutive hits during Virginia's four-run sixth.
David Gosselin smacked an RBI double in that inning, off reliever Anthony Napela, and David Coleman, David Adams and Dan Grovatt hit run-scoring singles.
However, Napela benefited from a double play started by Jackson a shortstop, the third twin killing of the game he began. The Hurricanes turned a fourth double play in the bottom of the ninth to snuff out a Virginia rally after the Cavaliers had two runners on and none out.
Kyle Bellamy pitched the last two and one-thirds innings to get his third save of the season.
Miami got an insurance run in the top of the eighth on Sobolewski's RBI single. Sobolewski, Raben and Jason Hagerty each went 3-for-5.
The top-seeded Hurricanes (47-8) won their first conference championship in the school's storied program. Miami has won four national championships and a combined 18 regional and super-regional titles, but competed as an independent before joining the ACC in 2005.
Miami went 2-6 in its first three ACC tournaments, but went undefeated this year with a 3-0 record in its division in round-robin play over Clemson, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
Virginia (38-21), the sixth-seeded team in the tournament, went 2-1 in its bracket to reach the title game.
Five Hurricanes were selected to the 2008 ACC Baseball All-Tournament Team with outfielder Dave DiNatale tabbed the Most Valuable Player. NC State placed two on the all-tourney squad, while Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest each had one representative.
Up next will be the 2008 NCAA Baseball Regionals, held at 16 regional sites. The NCAA will announce the sites at 7 p.m. tonight on ESPN2, while the 64-team field for the national tournament will be released Monday, May 26, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Photographs for any of the games played at this year's ACC Baseball Championship are available for purchase at www.theACC.com/photostore.
2008 ACC Baseball All-Tournament Team
POST-GAME NOTES: #1 MIAMI 8, #6 VIRGINIA 4
Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks walked, stole a base and then scored in the Miami first inning. Weeks has been successful in 19 of 20 steal attempts this season.
Miami's Yonder Alonso walked and scored Miami's second run in the first inning. He currently leads both the league and the nation with 65 walks and ranks second in the league with 73 runs scored. Alonso's 65 walks are the sixth-most in a single-season for a Miami batter.
Virginia catcher Franco Valdes threw out Miami's Blake Tekotte attempting to steal third in the top of the first inning. Valdes has thwarted 16 steal attempts this season, ranking sixth among catchers in the ACC.
Miami batted around in the top of the first inning, sending a total of 10 batters to the plate and scoring four runs against Virginia starter Pat McAnaney. Miami outscored its opponents 8-0 in the first inning of tournament games this week.
Virginia's McAnaney walked four Miami batters in just two innings. The four walked batters are a career-high for the Cavaliers' pitcher.
McAnaney, who entered with a 4-4 record this year and 18 career wins, was removed after 2.1 innings. The 2.1 inning outing was the shortest start of the season for McAnaney and is tied for the shortest start of his four-year Virginia career.
Miami's Alonso singled in the top of the fourth inning. He has now hit safely in eight of his last nine games this season and in 20 of his last 23 contests.
Virginia's David Coleman singled in the Cavaliers' first run of the afternoon with a liner to left in the bottom of the sixth inning. Coleman, who made a pair of game-changing catches in right field in Virginia's win over Florida State on Friday, finished 5-for-13 (.385) at the plate this week with two RBI.
Miami's David Gutierrez made his sixth start of 2008 for the Hurricanes, allowing six hits and three earned runs over five innings pitched. The outing was his fifth of five innings or more this season, and his 15th appearance overall in 2008.
Virginia strung together six hits and a walk in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring four runs against Miami's Gutierrez and reliever Anthony Nalepa. The four runs were the most Virginia scored in one inning in their four games at the tournament.
Miami reliever Kyle Bellamy entered for Nalepa in the seventh inning to make his 35th appearance of 2008. Bellamy is tied with North Carolina's Rob Wooten for the ACC lead in appearances.
Virginia relief pitcher Matt Packer made his third appearance this week when he took over for Robert Poutier to pitch the eighth and part of the ninth innings. Packer, who allowed one run on two hits in 1.2 innings on the mound, tossed a total of 7.2 innings this week, while holding opponents to just one earned run.
Virginia baserunners recorded a pair of stolen bases against the Hurricanes, extending the 2008 team's school record for stolen bases in a season to 134.
Virginia's Michael Schwimer made this third relief appearance of the week for the Cavaliers to finish off the ninth inning. Schwimer now has 91 career appearances, ranking third on Virginia's career list. With one more showing this year, he would break into a tie for second-place in school history.
The Miami infield recorded a season-high and ACC Championship record-tying four double-plays against the Cavaliers hitters. The Hurricanes recorded three of more double-plays twice this week, and have now done so five times this season.
Miami's Bellamy tossed 2.1 innings for the Hurricanes, allowing two hits and no earned runs with a pair of strikeouts, as he recorded his third save of the season.
Hurricanes designated hitter Jason Hagerty tied a career-high with three hits against the Cavaliers. Hagerty was one of five Miami batters to record two or more hits against the Virginia pitching staff.
Miami's baseball title is the school's first men's ACC championship since joining the league in July of 2004. The Hurricanes now have five overall titles.
With the win, Hurricanes' Head Coach Jim Morris became the first coach in ACC history to have won a baseball championship with two teams. Morris, who is in his 15th season with the Hurricanes, won four consecutive championships as the head coach at Georgia Tech from 1985-88. Morris leads all active head coaches with five titles and ranks second overall (7 - Bill Wilhelm, Clemson).
This afternoon's game was the first-ever tournament game between Miami and Virginia. Miami now leads the series, 1-0.
ACC baseball championship winners have advanced to the NCAA College World Series in each of the last two years. Clemson (2006) and North Carolina (2007) posted a combined record of 15-6 in NCAA postseason play after winning the ACC title the past two years.