BC Eyeing NCAA Berth; FSU clinches spot in Championship Game

Todd CallahanContributor IMay 22, 2009

6 Jun 1995: Second baseman Mickey Lopez of the Florida State Seminoles throws the ball during a game against USC at Rosenblatt Stadium.

The last time Boston College played in the NCAA baseball tournament, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House.

However, third baseman Mickey Wiswall may have helped the Eagles end that 42-year old streak by leading BC to a 7-3 victory over 14th-ranked Georgia Tech Thursday on the second day of the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament in Durham, N.C.

It was a day of upsets, as Boston College set the tone with its victory. In the nightcap, third-seeded Clemson fell 6-5 to Virginia. Florida State was the only favorite to win, as the Seminoles edged Miami 4-2 to become the first team of the tournament to improve to 2-0.

Having beaten Miami (1-1) and Boston College (1-1), the Seminoles, who are off Friday, have already clinched their pool and will be in the championship game.

However, arguably the biggest surprise was Boston College’s victory.

With both teams staring at elimination after losing their tournament opener, Wiswall sparked the Eagles offense, going 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and five RBI.

Wiswall and the Eagles jumped on Tech starting pitcher Jed Bradley in the first inning.

Bradley hit Robbie Anston to lead off the game and committed an error on a bunt by Matt Hamlet. The Tech freshman made matters worse with a walk to Tony Sanchez to load the bases and set up Wiswall’s first hit.

The Boston College sophomore slapped a two-run single center field to get the Eagles on the board.

In his next at-bat, the Eagles’ third baseman blasted a Bradley pitch into the seats in right field for a two-run home run and a commanding, 4-0 advantage.

Wiswall’s final hit was a solo home run over the 32-foot Blue Monster wall in left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Wiswall’s final home run helped to curb a Tech comeback, as the Jackets got back in the game with three runs in the top of the fifth frame.

Boston College starting pitcher JB MacDonald had allowed one hit through the first four innings, but he ran into trouble.

MacDonald gave up a leadoff home run to Chase Burnette for the first run. Jason Haniger doubled, moved to third base on a single by Matt Skole and scored on a fielder’s choice. Tech capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly by Jeff Rowland that scored Chris House, cutting the lead to 4-3.

It would be the last run scored by the Jackets, who have lost four straight conference games heading into Saturday’s game against Florida State.

Against the Boston College bullpen of Kevin Moran and closer Mike Belfiore, who combined to pitch the final four innings, Tech managed two hits, a double by Tony Plagman in the sixth inning and a single by House in the seventh.

The bullpen retired the final eight batters.

Belfiore pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two to earn the save.

Boston College improved its overall record to 32-24 and closes pool play Friday against Miami, which fell behind early to Florida State and was never able to catch up.

The Seminoles jumped on Miami and pitcher Chris Hernandez in the first inning.

Hernandez, who had never lost to Florida State, gave up all the runs in the first frame.

Tyler Holt opened with a single and scored on a double off the Blue Monster by Stephen Cardullo. Mike McGee followed with an RBI double, and the Seminoles were leading 2-0 before the Hurricanes were able to record an out.

Designated hitter Tommy Oravetz capped the scoring with a two-run homer with two outs, and the Seminoles were up, 4-0.

It was all the pitching staff needed, as Brian Busch scattered four hits over the first six innings to earn the win. Relievers Geoff Parker, John Gast and Jimmy Marshall did not allow a hit in the final three innings to secure the victory.

While the Seminoles have already won their bracket, Virginia and Clemson opened their tournament Thursday with the No. 16 Cavaliers rallying from a four-run deficit to defeat the 13th-ranked Tigers thanks to a big fifth inning.

After Virginia got back into the game, thanks to a two-run homer by John Hicks off Clemson starting pitcher Trey Delk in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Cavaliers broke the game open in the fifth.

Trailing 5-2, Virginia, which won four of six to close the regular season, rallied thanks to a couple of Clemson defensive miscues.

Virginia’s Jarrett Parker opened the frame with a home run to left field. Danny Hultzen, who was 2-for-4, reached on an infield single. He stole second base and advanced to third base on a throwing error. He scored when Dan Grovatt, who also was 2-for-4, singled.

With the score 5-4, Virginia took the lead when Steven Proscia tripled off relief pitcher Scott Weismann.

 Clemson shortstop Brad Miller threw home to get Grovatt, but the throw was high. Grovatt tied the game, and Proscia scored on the throwing error. It proved to be the game-winning run, as the Cavalier bullpen shut down the Tigers.

Andrew Carraway, who came on in relief of starter Matt Packer in the fourth inning, struck out seven and allowed one hit in 4 1/3 innings of relief.

He picked up the victory, and Kevin Arico struck out one and pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the save.

The Cavaliers meet North Carolina on Friday at 8 p.m. The winner has the inside track of winning the pool and earning a spot in Sunday’s championship game. 

Clemson and Duke square off in an elimination game at 4 p.m.


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