The North Carolina Tar Heels won the ACC Championship with a 3-2 victory over Wake Forest. Josh Horton hit a run scoring triple in the eighth inning to bring home Dustin Ackley from second base which broke a 2-2 tie. Luke Putkonen started for the Tar Heels and gave up two runs in 6.2 innings but got a no decision. Matt Danford (5-0) faced one batter to end the seventh inning and got the victory. Andrew Carignan got his 13th save by working the final two innings without allowing a run. Charlie Mellies got the start for the Deacons and went five innings while only giving up one run on four hits. He picked up a no-decision but this was a good sign since Mellies is just coming back from Tommy John surgery. Josh Ellis (5-3) entered the game in the eighth inning and continued his recent struggles as he gave up the winning run on one hit and walked one.
The NCAA has released the 16 regional hosts for the upcoming 64 team tournament. There are no major surprises as Coastal Carolina and San Diego each got a regional. The full release from the NCAA is available here.
Host School and Location of Regional
Arizona St. (43-13), Tempe, Ariz.
Arkansas (41-18), Fayetteville, Ark.
Coastal Caro. (48-11), Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Florida St. (47-11), Tallahassee, Fla.
Long Beach St. (36-18), Long Beach, Calif.
Missouri (40-16), Columbia, Mo.
North Carolina (47-12), Chapel Hill, N.C.
Ole Miss (37-23), Oxford, Miss.
Rice (48-12), Houston, Texas
San Diego (42-16), San Diego, CA (at San Diego State)
South Carolina (42-18), Columbia, S.C.
Texas (44-15), Round Rock, Texas
Texas A&M (43-16), College Station, Texas
Vanderbilt (50-11), Nashville, Tenn
Virginia (43-14), Charlottesville, Va.
Wichita St. (49-19), Wichita, Kan.
Rice, ranked No. 2 nationally, No. 1 in RPI and expected to get the top national seed when pairings are announced, saw its 20-game winning streak snapped in Saturday’s first game, falling to Memphis 2-1.
The Owls responded by scoring 20 runs on 20 hits in the nightcap, eliminating Memphis 20-9. The 29 combined runs tied a tournament record for most runs in a game.
The Tigers fell to 36-25 and await their postseason fate, which will be announced Monday.
The homestanding Pirates clinched their spot in between those two games, knocking off Tulane (34-26) behind the efforts of Harrison Eldridge and Stephen Batts, by a 9-4 score.
The two teams meet today for the championship at 1 p.m. EDT. The game will be replayed later in the day on CSTV.
Charleston, S.C. – Seventh-seeded The Citadel fell to No. 9 Wofford, 4-2, in the Southern Conference Championship Saturday night at Riley Park. The Bulldogs made it to the championship round for the second straight season, while the Terriers earned their first ever tournament crown.
The Bulldogs and Terriers both battled their way from the single-elimination round on Tuesday to make it to the championship game. The Dogs defeated Davidson, Western Carolina and Elon before falling to Wofford in game 13, 6-2. The Citadel returned to down Elon for the second time to challenge the Terriers for the tournament title, but Wofford remained undefeated as they were the lowest seed to ever win the crown in tourney history.
A pitchers’ duel developed in the first three innings as Bulldog hurler Matt Reifsnider only allowed two hits and retired seven straight from the end of the first through the end of the third. Terrier starter Austin Redwine did not allow a hit until the fourth inning when junior left fielder Chris Swauger belted a solo shot over the right field wall to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
The Citadel put two runners on in the fifth, but Austin forced three straight outs to get out of the frame. Wofford then took the lead in the sixth courtesy of a two-run shot off the bat of Brandon Waring. Waring, who was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player, set SoCon Tournament records in home runs (5), RBI (16), hits (14) and total bases (31).
The Terriers extended their lead to three in the seventh as Keith Munns smacked a run-scoring double down the left field line. Wofford pitched its way out of another jam in the bottom of the frame as senior right fielder Joe Hoerter and freshman shortstop Kyle Jordan registered back-to-back singles with two outs. Terrier shortstop Mike Gilmartin was called to the mound and forced a groundout to get out of the inning unharmed.
Designated hitter Shane Kirkley sent a 3-2 offering over the fence in left to make it 4-1 Wofford in the eighth before sophomore left-hander Matt Crim came in and shutdown the Terrier offense the rest of the night.
The Bulldogs attempted to come back in the ninth as sophomore right fielder Sonny Meade came in to pinch hit and ripped a line drive to left with one out. Freshman Chris McGuiness was then able to reach safely when John Brandt dropped a ball down the left field line. Sophomore Conrad Kellahan, the third Bulldog pinch-hitter of the inning, punched a base hit through the right side to load the bases with one out. Gilmartin registered a strikeout before Swauger drew a bases loaded walk and notched his second RBI of the evening. Gilmartin then fanned his third batter of the frame to preserve the 4-2 victory and pick up his eighth save of the season.
Reifsnider (3-5) enjoyed his best career start as he tossed five innings of shutout ball, scattering eight hits and allowing three runs. The freshman collected five strikeouts and did not surrender a single walk in his 6.1 innings of work. Redwine (7-5) earned his second victory of the tournament as he threw 6.2 frames, giving up a single run on four hits while striking out four and walking two.
Freshman Raymond Copenhaver and senior Justin Smith tied the tournament record for most appearances with five as they were called to the mound against the Terriers. Crim matched the lowest ever earned run average over nine innings as he posted a 0.00 ERA and picked up a victory over his two outings and closed the final two frames.
The Bulldogs put together an outstanding run in the SoCon Tournament after finishing 12-15 and having to participate in the play-in game as the seven seed. The Citadel turned in clutch pitching performances as sophomores Wes Wrenn and Matt Crim combined to throw 13 shutout innings in the first two games to lead the Bulldogs to a 7-0 win over No. 10 Davidson and sent No. 2 Western Carolina to the loser’s bracket with a 7-2 victory. Senior closer Links Saunders registered back-to-back saves over the Catamounts and Elon as he posted a 0.00 ERA in three appearances while striking out seven. The Bulldog pitching staff combined for a 2.42 ERA over six games to lead all SoCon teams during the tourney.
Freshman second baseman Bryan Altman was the hero of the Dogs’ third tournament game as he crushed his first career grand slam to give The Citadel a 6-5 edge over No. 3 Elon. After falling to Wofford, the Dogs returned on Saturday to face Elon again where Wrenn earned his second tournament victory holding the Phoenix to only two runs during his seven innings of work, while Jones and Altman paced the Bulldog offense in the 5-2 win.
Senior Joe Hoerter led The Citadel at the plate as he batted .467 during the tournament after receiving his first career start less than a month ago. Hoerter turned in a .314 batting average to finish out his senior campaign.
Freshman of the Year Richard Jones and Swauger each belted three round-trippers during the tournament while Swauger tallied 24 total bases and seven RBI. Swauger and Meade both registered an average above .400 during the six-game span, while Jones and Brown batted .360 and .348, respectively.
The Citadel finished out the regular season with a 34-27 overall record and enjoyed two huge wins over nationally ranked foes. The Dogs had four players recognized as All-SoCon performers in 2007 as Brown was awarded first team accolades and Swauger, Jones and Meade were all named to the second team. Brown, Jones and Swauger also earned All-Tournament accolades as Swauger was tabbed All-Tournament for the second year in a row. Below is a complete list of the 2007 All-Tournament squad.
2007 All-Tournament Team
C – Richard Jones (The Citadel)
1B – Zach Brown (The Citadel)
2B – Eric Sturkie (Wofford)
SS – Mike Gilmartin (Wofford)
3B – Brandon Waring (Wofford)
OF – Pat Irvine (Elon)
OF – Sean Snell (UNC Greensboro)
OF – Chris Swauger (The Citadel)
DH – Andrew Franco (Appalachian State)
P – Ben Austin (Wofford)
MVP – Brandon Waring (Wofford)
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (May 26, 2007) - Bidding to become the first team in BIG EAST Tournament history to lose its first game and then go on to win the championship, the University of Connecticut baseball team fell just short of etching its name in the conference record books as the No. 8 seed Huskies fell to second-seeded Rutgers, 7-6, Saturday afternoon from KeySpan Park.
Despite the loss, UConn's appearance in the championship game marked the lowest seed in BIG EAST Tournament history to reach the final game. In addition, the 2007 league tournament featured a conference-best four total shutouts through the course of the week. UConn boasts two of the four shutouts as the Huskies blanked USF in two consecutive games Friday to reach the championship game.
UConn held a Rutgers offense that entered the championship game averaging 11.4 hits per game during the tournament to just six hits, but also committed three errors in the field. In fact, the Huskies out-hit Rutgers by an 11-6 tally.
The Huskies continued to battle and nearly completed an improbable comeback as the Huskies rallied for five runs in the top of the ninth inning. Senior first baseman Matt Untiet (Berlin, Conn.) singled through the right side to start the inning before coming around to score on the following play as junior third baseman Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) laced a double into left field to chase starting pitcher Steve Healing. After the next Husky was retired on a groundout, senior right fielder Josh Farkes (Boston, Mass.) doubled into left-center field to drive in Mahoney. Junior center fielder Gordon Stevens (Vista, Calif.) singled to center on the next play to put runners on the corners, and both runners advanced one base on a balk. On the following play, freshman left fielder Pete Fatse (Hampden, Mass.) homered to right field to pull the Huskies within one. Sophomore second baseman Dale Brannon (St. Petersburg, Fla.) next reached with a bloop single into center field, but Scarlet Knight reliever Kevin Lillis retired the next to batters to preserve the win for Rutgers.
Backed by an early lead, Rutgers starting pitcher Steve Healing pitched eight innings and allowed three runs on seven hits to earn his 10th win of the season. Lillis earned the save for his third of the season.
Husky freshman starting pitcher Robert Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y.) suffered the loss despite an effective outing on just three days rest. Van Woert allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits in four innings on the hill.
Rutgers (41-19) struck first in the contest as the Scarlet Knights plated three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Both BIG EAST Player of the Year Todd Frazier and second baseman Mike Bionde drew walks to open the frame. Husky starting pitcher Robert Van Woert (Johnson City, N.Y.) retired the next two hitters on fly outs to left field to keep both runners on their respective bases. On the following play, Rutgers scored its first run of the inning on a throwing error charged to Husky catcher Larry Day (Amesbury, Mass.) attempting to catch Bionde stealing second base. After first baseman Tom Edwards drew a walk to put runners on the corners, designated hitter Jon Gossard hit an RBI single into left field to score Bionde. In addition, Edwards came around to score as Husky right fielder Josh Farkes (Boston, Mass.) was charged with a fielding error.
Connecticut (34-27) answered with a run in the top of the second inning to cut the Rutgers lead to just two. Junior third baseman Pat Mahoney (Des Moines, Iowa) laced a single off Healing's glove, allowing the ball to trickle into an empty area on the infield. After taking second on a fielder's choice, Mahoney came around to score on the following play as Farkes ripped an RBI double into the right field corner.
Frazier, the 2007 BIG EAST Tournament Jack Kaiser Award Winner, put the Scarlet Knights ahead 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning with his conference-leading 22nd home run of the season. Four batters later, Edwards delivered an RBI double to deep center field to give Rutgers a four-run edge.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Rutgers tacked on another two runs on a two-run home run into left-center field from catcher Frank Meade to put the Scarlet Knights up 7-1.
Individually, Farkes paced the Huskies at the plate with a 3-for-4 showing with two RBIs, while Mahoney, Fatse and Brannon also chipped in with two hits apiece.
In the opening game on Saturday, The NC State Wolfpack picked up an 8-7 victory over Georgia Tech. Both teams were eliminated before the game from making the championship game on Saturday so the game could only change the seedings for the upcoming NCAA Tournament as both teams are expected to receive at large berths. NC State started Jimmy Gillheeney who has been struggling recently and it continued on Saturday as he let up five runs in five innings. He ended up with a no-decision as Eryk McConnell picked up the victory by working the final 3.1 innings without allowing a run. His record goes to 3-2. Georgia Tech used this game to get some work for the pitching staff as they used six different pitchers. Matt Wieters (1-4) ended up getting the loss as he gave up a Caleb Mangum infield RBI single in the ninth. Marcus Jones went 4-5 and Dallas Poulk went 3-4 to lead the Pack offensive attack while Patrick Long led the Jackets by going 3-5 with three runs scored.
North Carolina 5 Virginia 0 (Final)
Alex White (6-4) pitched seven shutout innings against the high powered offense of Virginia to give the Tar Heels a 5-0 victory and advance to the ACC Championship game on Sunday. White only gave up two hits and four walks over those seven innings. Andrew Carignan pitched two scoreless innings to get his 12th save. Casey Lambert (2-2) got the start for UVA and was effective but gave up two runs over seven innings as he was tagged with the loss. Reid Fronk led the Tar Heels with two RBI and two hits. John Scaglione was the only Cavalier with two hits in the game. UNC will take on Wake Forest for the ACC title at 1 pm on Sunday.
Clemson 5 FSU 1 (Final)
The Clemson Tigers kept their hopes alive of an ACC Championship game appearance as they defeated the Florida State Seminoles 5-1 in Day 4 of the ACC Tournament. Bryan Henry (14-1) picked up his first loss of the season by giving up four runs in 5.1 innings. David Kopp (6-2) pitched a complete game and gave up an unearned run in the top of the ninth while striking out seven strikeouts. Addison Johnson, J.D. Burgess, Taylor Harbin, and Marquez Smith each had two hits to lead the Tigers offense. Jack Rye went 3-4 to lead the Seminoles in the losing effort.
Wake Forest 7 Miami 3 (Final)
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons picked up a big victory and got the help they needed to advance to the ACC Championship game as they defeated the Miami Hurricanes 7-3 in the final game of the round robin round of the ACC Tournament. Allan Dykstra finally did some damage tonight when I was watching as he hit a home run to tied the game at 2 in the third inning as he went 2-4 with 3 RBI including the homer. Ben Hunter (7-6) gave the Deacons six innings while giving up two runs to get the win. Enrique Garcia (7-4) got the loss for the Canes as he only lasted 4.1 innings while giving up five runs. Jemile Weeks went 2-4 in the losing effort. Wake Forest will play North Carolina at 1 pm for the ACC title and have likely clinched an at-large berth for the NCAA Tournament. Miami will wait until the brackets come out to find out where they will be heading.
The College Baseball Blog made the trip down to New Britain Connecticut to see the championship games of the Northeast Conference on Saturday afternoon. Monmouth entered the championship round without a loss in the tournament while Central Connecticut State had one loss.
In Game 1, The Blue Devils got 8.2 innings of great pitching from Adam Piechowski as they took care of the Monmouth Hawks 4-2. The Blue Devils offense was led by Adam Taha who went 2-3 at the plate and provided a solid game behind the plate as he blocked several pitches in the dirt to hold runners on their respective bases. Andy Meyers led the Hawks offense by going 3-4 with a double. The win by CCSU forced a deciding game later in the day.
In Game 2, Monmouth starting pitcher Matt Coulson (4-3) pitched 7.2 innings while letting up only one run on five hits. He was effective at getting the Blue Devils to hit the ball at his fielders as he only had two strikeouts on the day. Both of them came with runners on second and third with one out in the fifth inning with a 2-0 Hawks lead. Justin Esposito pitched a perfect 1.2 innings to get his tenth save. CCSU starter John Tesseyman lasted only two innings as he gave up two runs on four hits. His record for the season drops down to 6-4. John Dennis went 2-2 with 3 RBI and a sacrifice bunt to lead the Monmouth offense.
The College Baseball Blog would like to give thanks to the great community of New Britain for putting on a fine event. This was one of the better experiences on the season as the College Baseball Blog might not see anymore College Baseball live this season due to logistics. The CBB will likely be heading to the Cape Cod League throughout the summer to check in on some college players.
New Orleans took the Sun Belt title by knocking off Louisiana 8-2. Stephen Whalen (7-5) pitched three shutout innings in relief to pick up the victory for the Privateers while Ragin‘ Cajuns starter Buddy Glass lasted only 4.1 innings while giving up four runs to drop his record to 7-4. Johnny Giavotella went 2-3 with a homer and two runs scored to lead the Privateers offense. Josh Logan went 3-4 in the losing effort for Louisiana. Both teams will await the NCAA seedings which are released on Monday.
Daily Advertiser Recap
Charleston, S.C. – No. 9 Wofford defeated seventh-seeded The Citadel, 6-2, in their very first meeting in tournament history Friday afternoon in the third round of the Southern Conference Tournament at Riley Park. Eric Sturkie’s solo home run in the second proved to be the game-winner as he paced the Terriers with two RBI on the day. The Bulldogs will play the winner of the Elon-UNC Greensboro game Friday night to figure out who they will face Saturday, May 26 at noon at Riley Park.
The Bulldogs’ only runs were scored by two homers as junior left fielder Chris Swauger and freshman catcher Richard Jones each belted a round-tripper in the contest. Unfortunately it was not enough for the Dogs even though they matched Wofford’s 11 hits.
Swauger, Jones and senior first baseman Zach Brown each collected two hits on the day. Brown ripped his 21st double of the season, tying him for fifth place in single-season two-baggers, along with Swauger who hit that mark in 2006. Brown is also tied for fifth in all-time doubles with 52.
Freshman lefty Nick Sprowls (0-2) suffered the loss in only his second career start as the went 1.2 frames, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out and walking one. Terrier starter Ben Austin (11-5) earned his second win of the tourney after taking a 5-3 victory over Furman in the first game of the single-elimination round. Austin tossed 5.2 innings as he was responsible for both homers and surrendered eight hits while fanning two and walking one.
The Citadel jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first with Swauger’s solo shot over the right field wall. Wofford did not stay behind long as the Terriers answered back with two of their own. Michael Gilmartin punched a single through the left side to start things off and moved to second on a sac bunt. Shane Kirkley then tripled to the gap in right center to plate Gilmartin. Brandon Waring followed that up with a base hit to left to drive in Kirkley and give Wofford a 2-1 advantage.
Sturkie added to the Terrier lead in the second as he registered a solo job just inside the right field foul pole. Freshman catcher Richard Jones pulled the Bulldogs back within one in the fourth as he went deep for the third time in four games to make it 3-2. Jones now has 15 round-trippers on the season to lead the club.
A Bulldog error in the fifth led to three unearned runs to put Wofford up by four. Adam Wood notched an infield single with one out before Sterling Dye bunted one back to the mound that was mishandled, allowing Dye to reach safely while putting Wood on second. Keith Munns drew a walk to load the bases for Sturkie who lifted a sac fly to right to drive in Wood. Gilmartin notched a double to push Dye across the dish. Munns then raced home on a wild pitch before Bulldog hurler Link Saunders forced a groundout to get out of the inning.
The Citadel put three runners in scoring position over the final four frames, but was unable to push any across. The Dogs even threatened in the ninth with two outs as they put runners on first and second, but Terrier closer Charles Vartanian caught the final batter looking to preserve the 6-2 win and pick up the save. Vartanian closed out the final 3.1 frames and held the Dogs to only three hits while not giving up any runs and striking out five.
Saunders posted another solid outing after recording a save in each of the last two Citadel victories. The right-hander relieved Justin Smith in the fifth and held the Terriers scoreless and only allowed one hit while fanning three and walking one. Smith registered four strikeouts of his own, also in three innings of work.
No. 7 The Citadel will return to tournament action on Saturday, May 26 at noon and will either have a rematch with No. 3 Elon or will face No. 5 UNC Greensboro.