UVA rolls in ACC pool play, Hokies fall to Clemson

Cavaliers face UNC Thursday for spot in semifinals

The Cavaliers crushed GT 15-1 in 7 innings in Pool play.

Durham, NC – Virginia entered this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship as the Coastal Division champion, one projected by many as a top-eight seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament.

The second-seeded Cavaliers more than looked the part Wednesday afternoon.

Virginia exploded for eight runs in the top of the fifth and went on to rout No. 11 seed Georgia Tech 15-1 in the day’s second game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The game was halted after seven innings in accordance with the tournament’s “10-run rule.”

The Cavaliers (45-11) will now face seventh-seeded and defending ACC champion North Carolina (34-21) in Thursday’s 3 p.m. Pool B game. The winner of that contest will advance to Saturday’s semifinals. Virginia has won the ACC Baseball Championship three times: 1996, 2009 and 2011.

Virginia’s 15 runs were its most ever in an ACC tournament game, topping its previous high of 14 on two previous occasions (1990 versus NC State and 2021 versus Notre Dame).

Georgia Tech (30-27) suffered its fourth loss to the Cavaliers in less than a week following Virginia’s three-game series sweep last Thursday-Saturday that closed out the regular season.

Ethan O’Donnell went 3-for-5 at the plate, including a three-run homer to cap Virginia’s big fifth inning. ACC Player of the Year Kyle Teel finished 3-for-4, including his 12th home run of the year and his 24th double to establish a school single-season record.

Teel just missed a shot at the cycle when his sharp grounder down the right-field line in the fifth inning that had a chance of rattling around in triple territory was ruled just foul.

Ethan Anderson also homered for the Cavaliers, and Casey Saucke was 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Nick Parker (7-0) pitched the full seven innings to pick up the win for Virginia, yielding four hits while walking just one batter and striking out five. He became the first Cavalier to go the distance on the mound in an ACC Championship game since Josh Sborz’s near-perfect seven-inning “run rule” game versus Georgia Tech in the 2015 tournament opener.

Angelo Dispigna broke up Parker’s bid for a shutout with a one-out home run – his 16th of the season – with one out in the bottom of the seventh.

Aeden Finateri (2-4) worked the first 4.2 innings for Georgia Tech and took the loss.


Clemson entered this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship as arguably the nation’s hottest team, and the Tigers again seized the moment when presented with an opening on Wednesday night.

Clemson scored seven runs following a two-out Virginia Tech error in the top of the sixth inning, capped by a Caden Grice grand slam, and the third-seeded Tigers rode that turn of events to a 14-5 victory in their Pool C tournament opener at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Clemson (40-17) will face Boston College (35-17) at 11 a.m. on Friday morning, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s semifinal round. The Tigers will enter the game having won 13 consecutive games, 18 of their last 19, and 23 of their last 26.

The Hokies (30-23) led 5-3 with two outs in the top of the sixth inning Wednesday night. The Tigers had runners on second and third, but Virginia Tech seemed poised to escape damage when Jacob Jarrell lifted a high fly ball into shallow left field.

Virginia Tech shortstop David Bryant appeared set to make the play before he was called off by leftfielder Jack Hurley. But Hurley wound up having to dive for the ball, and it caromed off his glove and fell to the turf. Two Clemson runs scored, leaving the game tied at 5-5.

It didn’t remain tied for long, as freshman Cam Cannarella followed with an RBI single to make it 6-5. Virginia Tech starter Drue Hackenberg departed the game at that point in favor of reliever Andrew Setlinger, and an infield single and hit batsman loaded the bases to set the table for Grice’s big moment.

Grice worked the count to 3-1 before sending a Setlinger offering over the wall in right for the fourth grand slam of his career – one short of the school record held by former Tiger All-American Seth Beer – and the 25th in ACC Baseball Championship history.

The flurry of unearned runs left the score at 10-5, and the Tigers tacked on a single run in the eighth and three in the ninth for the final 14-5 margin.

Billy Amick and Riley Bertram each finished 3-for-5 with two RBI for Clemson. Designated hitter Carson DeMartini drove in three of Virginia Tech’s five runs, and leadoff hitter Garrett Michel finished the night 3-for-5.