UM falls to GA Tech in ACC title game
GA Tech wins 8-5
If anyone had told Jake Davies last week that he'd be the MVP of the ACC tournament, he would have called them crazy.
It's been one of those wild stretches, though, for Georgia Tech's baseball team.
Mott Hyde homered and Sam Dove had three of Georgia Tech's 15 hits as the Yellow Jackets topped Miami 8-5 on Sunday to become the first No. 8 seed to win the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
It was Georgia Tech's eighth ACC baseball title, and first since 2005 — and Davies had a large hand in it.
"I just came in with the idea that it was my last hurrah and I should go play as hard as I could," said Davies, a senior who hit .438 with four homers and 11 RBIs over the four games and also pitched six innings in a victory.
Georgia Tech (36-24) won four games in Greensboro to earn conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament 64-team field, which will be announced Monday.
"First of all, we needed to win a couple just to get in the NCAA tournament," Davies said. "I think in the first game (with two homers against Florida State), I picked up some of the other guys, and then the rest of the guys picked it up on their own. When you've got 27 guys in the dugout with the same idea, it's a hard train to stop."
Miami (36-21) will also be in the field, as it was named a host site Sunday along with fellow ACC members Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia.
Davies was named to the all-tournament team along with three fellow Jackets including Zane Evans, the catcher who earned his sixth save of the season by pitching the final three innings without allowing a baserunner Sunday. Second baseman Thomas Smith and outfielder Brandon Thomas also made the squad, along with Miami outfielder Chantz Mack and pitcher Eric Whaley.
Jarrett Didrick (2-0) was the winning pitcher in relief of Josh Heddinger, allowing two runs on two hits with a strikeout and two walks in four innings of work. Evans struck out three in earning his sixth save.
"I thought my team played great baseball all week in one of the toughest tournaments in the country," Tech coach Danny Hall said. "We played our best baseball. We got timely hits when we needed them, we made plays when we needed to, we made pitches when we needed to and got contributions from everybody."
Michael Broad homered for Miami, while Dale Carey added a pair of singles and Brad Fieger a single with two RBIs.
Tech jumped on Miami starter Javi Salas (6-3) for four runs in the first inning, and he lasted just 1 1/3 innings.
"Georgia Tech's win shows you the strength of our conference," said Miami coach Jim Morris, who was the Yellow Jackets' coach for the school's first four ACC titles from 1985-88. "We got outplayed today. They just outhit us, outpitched us and outplayed us. Those guys battled hard and deserved to win."
The Hurricanes trailed 6-1, but cut it to 6-5 before Evans' two-run single in the seventh provided insurance for the Yellow Jackets.
The rest of the all-tournament team was comprised of N.C. State pitcher Carlos Rodon and third baseman Trea Turner, Clemson first baseman Jon McGibbon, Florida State shortstop Justin Gonzalez and Virginia outfielder Colin Harrington.
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