Virginia Earns Berth in ACC Championship Game
May 28, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, FL.(AP)-Virginia first baseman Sean Doolittle threw 3 1/3 innings of effective relief pitching and send the Cavaliers to the championship game following a 5-4 win over Clemson on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Tournament at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
Virginia (41-17) won its third successive game of the tournament and will make its first appearance in an ACC Tournament final since 1996. The Cavaliers won their only league title that year with a 12-1 win over Florida State in the tournament held at Durham, N.C..
Virginia's only other championship game appearance was in 1982 when it lost a 3-2 decision to North Carolina.
Clemson fell to 39-21 and now awaits word on Sunday to learn if it is one 16 teams selected to host an NCAA regional starting next week.
Doolittle, who has the team's second highest batting average among regulars with a .327 mark, made his 20th relief appearance of the year. He allowed four hits, struck out five and did not issue any walks. His consecutive scoreless streak of 28 2/3 innings was halted in the eighth inning when Clemson starting pitcher Kris Harvey connected for his 22nd home run of the year. Doolittle got credit for the win, improving his mark to 3-0 on the year.
Virginia jumped on Harvey for four runs on six hits and a pair of walks in the first three innings, keyed by Scott Headd's bloop single into short right field that brought home two runs in the third inning. Tom Hagan followed Headd's hit with a solid single up the middle to bring home the third run of the inning.
The Cavaliers scored what proved to be the winning run in the sixth when Mike Campagna was credited with a single but ended up on third as Clemson shortstop Stan Widman's throw to first sailed into the dugout. Two batters later, Tim Henry lofted a fly ball to centerfield to score Campagna on a sacrifice fly.
Clemson pushed across two of its three runs in the fourth inning on
Travis Storrer's two-run homer, and added its final run on Harvey's
round-tripper in the eighth. The Tigers got a one-out hit from Herman
Demmink in the ninth inning, but UVA closer Casey Lambert induced Brad
Chalk to bounce into a game-inning double play.