The 2022 ACC baseball tournament started Tuesday with a tripleheader from Truist Field in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Virginia Tech surprised most analysts by winning its first regular-season conference title since 2000.
The Hokies were predicted to finish sixth in the Coastal Division by ACC head coaches coming into the season. Instead, they finished 40-11 overall (19-9 in conference) and entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed.
Of the 14 teams, 11 won at least 30 games during the regular season. Virginia Tech, Louisville, Wake Forest, Miami and Virginia entered the tournament with at least 35 victories.
Unlike most major conference tournaments that use a double-elimination format, the ACC tournament is divided into four pools of three teams. The winner of each pool will advance to the semifinals Saturday, with the semifinal winners playing in the championship game Sunday.
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2022 ACC Tournament Pools
Pool A: No. 1 Virginia Tech, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 12 Clemson
Pool B: No. 2 Louisville, No. 7 Georgia Tech, No. 11 Pittsburgh
Pool C: No. 3 Miami, No. 6 Wake Forest, No. 10 North Carolina State
Pool D: No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Virginia, No. 9 Florida State
2022 ACC Tournament Results - Tuesday, May 24
No. 11 Pittsburgh 12, No. 7 Georgia Tech 6
No. 10 North Carolina State 11, No. 6 Wake Forest 8
No. 8 North Carolina 9, No. 12 Clemson 2
Pittsburgh 12, Georgia Tech 6
Pittsburgh jumped on Georgia Tech starter John Medich with two runs in the first inning and pounded out 16 hits en route to victory in the first game of the ACC tournament.
After falling behind 2-0 before taking their first at-bat of the game, the Yellow Jackets responded with six unanswered runs in innings three through five. They held a 6-2 lead going into the top of the sixth.
The wheels fell off for Georgia Tech at that point. Pitt sent 12 hitters to the plate and scored eight runs before Bryce Hulett's double play finally ended the frame. The inning started with Sky Duff walking on four pitches and Ron Washington Jr. hitting a two-run homer.
Hulett followed with a homer of his own two pitches later to cut the deficit to 6-5.
Two batters later, Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall brought in left-hander Sam Crawford. The results didn't get any better for the Yellow Jackets.
Brock Franks was hit on the second pitch by Crawford. Dom Papa and Jeffrey Wehler followed with back-to-back RBI singles that put the Panthers on top for good.
Wehler provided insurance in the ninth inning with an RBI single. Franks scored the 12th run on a wild pitch by Georgia Tech reliever Camron Hill.
Jonathan Bautista was fantastic out of the bullpen for Pitt. He came on to start the sixth after Matt Gilbertson had allowed six runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings.
Bautista allowed just two hits over the final four innings to seal the win.
Pitt was swept in a three-game home series by Georgia Tech to finish the regular season over the weekend.
It will have a chance to clinch the top spot in Pool B and a berth in the semifinals with a win over No. 2 Louisville at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday. The Yellow Jackets have a day off to regroup before playing the Cardinals at 11 a.m. ET Thursday in the final game in Pool B.
NC State 11, Wake Forest 8
The NC State Wolfpack defeated the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the second game of the ACC tournament after falling behind 4-0 early.
The Wake Forest Demon Deacons took a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a couple of singles by right fielder Tommy Hawke and center fielder Pierce Bennett in addition to a walk by Michael Turconi. Catcher Brendan Tinsman grounded into a double play, but Hawke scored.
Wake Forest added three more runs in the fourth on an RBI single by third baseman Brock Wilken and a two-run double by second baseman Danny Corona.
Wake Forest starting pitcher Seth Keener was solid through the first four innings but fell apart in the fifth, allowing three runs on two hits before being replaced by Crawford Wade.
NC State's Jacob Cozart, LuJames Groover III and Josh Hood doubled in the top of the fifth to drive in five runs before J.T. Jarrett earned a bases-loaded walk. The Wolfpack's big inning earned them a 6-4 lead, which they did not give up.
#Pack9 ⚾️ @NCStateBaseball
ONE-RUN GAME!<br><br>With runners at the corners, Gino brings in our third run of the inning with a double off the left field wall.<br><br>T5 | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pack9?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Pack9</a> 3, Wake Forest 4 <a href="https://t.co/fDM90I3XF2">pic.twitter.com/fDM90I3XF2</a>
Wake Forest scored in the sixth to cut NC State's lead to 6-5, but then the Wolfpack had another monstrous inning.
Hood kicked things off with a solo home run before Dominic Pilolli tripled to drive in another run. Payton Green and Devonte Brown also homered in the top of the seventh to extend the lead to 11-5.
The Demon Deacons scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Wilken home run and Nick Kurtz double, but Chris Villaman earned his 10th save of the season for NC State.
North Carolina 9, Clemson 2
The North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Clemson Tigers in the third game of the ACC tournament.
North Carolina received a great outing from starting pitcher Max Carlson, who allowed just one run on six hits and struck out four through six innings. The bullpen also impressed, allowing one hit and striking out four in three innings.
The Tar Heels scored eight runs in the first five innings, highlighted by a solo home run from left fielder Mikey Madej that made it 4-1 and a two-run single from Vance Honeycutt that made it 7-1.
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North Carolina added a run in the bottom of the eighth inning courtesy of an RBI double by third baseman Mac Horvath before relief pitcher Davis Palermo capped the game.
After striking out the first two batters in the top of the ninth, Palermo hit Reed Garris and walked Benjamin Blackwell before allowing an RBI single to right fielder Will Taylor.
Palermo then retired Tigers third baseman Max Wagner, striking him out to end the game.
It was a disappointing outing for Clemson. In particular, starting pitcher Mack Anglin struggled, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in four innings.
The Tigers also mustered just seven hits in 32 at-bats compared to North Carolina’s 11 hits in 36 at-bats.