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ACC Baseball Tournament 2015: Wednesday Scores, Updated Bracket and Schedule

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2015

Louisville's Kyle Funkhouser pitches to a Kennesaw State batter in the second inning of an NCAA college baseball tournament super regional game in Louisville, Ky., Friday, June 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Following a brief warm-up act Tuesday with two play-in games, the 2015 ACC baseball tournament kicked things into gear Wednesday with a full slate of games starting early in the day and running into the night.   

It's a star-studded day of action with the No. 1 Louisville Cardinals and the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes taking their first shot at winning a conference championship and securing a guaranteed spot in the NCAA tournament. 

Due to the size of the ACC, conference organizers have set up the tournament in a unique way. The eight teams left have been split into two different pools featuring four teams, and a round-robin format will determine the two teams that will meet in the championship game Sunday. 

Here's how the first full day of action from Durham, North Carolina, played out. 

2015 ACC Baseball Tournament: Wednesday Scores
GameMatchupResult/Start Time (ET)
No. 3No. 4 Florida State Seminoles vs. No. 5 Clemson TigersFlorida State def. Clemson, 3-1
No. 4No. 2 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 7 Virginia CavaliersMiami def. Virginia, 9-5
No. 5No. 1 Louisville Cardinals vs. No. 8 North Carolina Tar HeelsLouisville def. North Carolina, 7-4
TheACC.com

Tournament Bracket

Pool AChampionshipPool B
No. 1 Louisville No. 2 Miami
No. 4 Florida StatePool A Winner vs. Pool B WinnerNo. 3 Notre Dame
No. 5 Clemson No. 6 North Carolina State
No. 8 North Carolina No. 7 Virginia

Day 2 Recap

No. 1 Louisville def. No. 8 North Carolina

Louisville completed a day of favorite triumphs Wednesday night, overcoming an early deficit to earn a 7-4 win over North Carolina.

Sutton Whiting drove in three runs and Brendan McKay went 4-for-4, as the Cardinals scored their seven runs on only nine hits. McKay finished a triple shy of the cycle, hitting a fourth-inning homer to go along with a double and two singles.

"I was just trying to get pitches to hit, honestly," McKay told reporters after the game. "Corey Ray has been on me at batting practice trying to make me hit more line drives. It kind of went the opposite today and I had the hot hand."

McKay's homer helped breathe life into an offense that had been moribund for the first three innings. North Carolina had taken advantage of those struggles to build a 4-0 lead, knocking starter Sean Leland out of the game after just two innings. Lincoln Henzman came on in relief for Louisville and shut the door on North Carolina's offensive production, throwing six innings of shutout baseball and striking out six.

Beginning with McKay's homer, the Cardinals poured it on. They scored all seven of their runs between the fourth and sixth innings, including a four-run sixth. The win continued a trend leftover from the regular season.

"We knew we had so much time left in the game to score more runs, and do defensive pitching," McKay told reporters. "Eventually we did get the best timely hitting. And our pitching, we have probably the best pitching in the country, so we were going to come back and hold them to probably the least runs as possible.

Louisville will look to parlay its comeback win into another triumph over Clemson. The Tigers are reeling after scoring only a single run in their loss to Florida State earlier in the day. 

North Carolina will try to get back in the win column against Florida State. The Heels will be significant underdogs in that matchup, but their friskiness early against Louisville should put the Seminoles on notice. 

No. 2 Miami def. No. 7 Virginia

Phil Sandlin/Associated Press

The Miami Hurricanes won a wild game against the Virginia Cavaliers to start the ACC tournament on a positive note. It looked like the second-seeded 'Canes were going to be fighting out of an early hole in the round-robin tournament, trailing 5-2 after the top of the eighth inning. 

In fact, things were going so well for Virginia before the inning that starter Connor Jones didn't give up a hit for four innings starting in the third and going until there was one out in the seventh. 

After Kevin Doherty relieved Jones, the floodgates opened for the Hurricanes, whose seven-run outburst was capped by a three-run homer from Garrett Kennedy.

Miami's win on its own isn't a surprise. The fact it took so long for the offense to break out was stunning, based on how the Hurricanes had been rolling during it's 12-game winning streak coming into Wednesday. 

Per Kyle Munzenrieder of The Miami New Times, the 'Canes came into the matchup with Virginia having outscored their opponents 170-21 during the streak:

Rocking up to 8th in the USA Today Coach's Poll, the Hurricanes have left total and complete carnage in their wake over their past dozen games like an actual bats-and-balls megastorm. 

They've won their last 12 games by a combined score of 170 to 21. Rounded out, that's about an average of 14 to 2 every single game. 

The Hurricanes are playing as well as any team in the country, even with Wednesday's scare. They have an offense that can pummel opponents into submission, as was the case against Virginia, and a pitching staff that's been largely effective. 

It would be an upset if Miami wasn't at least playing for an ACC championship. There's still a long way to go before getting to that moment, but the first test was a successful one. 

No. 4 Florida State def. No. 5 Clemson

Phil Sears/Associated Press

The Florida State Seminoles didn't have a lot of offense to show for themselves against the Clemson Tigers, recording just three hits, but they made all of them count in a 3-1 victory. 

DJ Stewart provided the big blow early with a two-run triple in the third inning off of Clemson starter Matthew Crownover. Here's how it looked, per Florida State's official YouTube channel:

After the Seminoles got on the board, the pitching staff took over. Starter Boomer Biegalski allowed four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in 6.1 shutout innings. Clemson did get on the board thanks to an RBI groundout from Chris Okey in the eighth inning. 

The Tigers were given a golden opportunity in the ninth inning, as Florida State closer Billy Strode walked two men with two outs, but he got Steven Duggar for the final out to secure a victory.

Even though the final inning was tense for Strode, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America did note the right-hander saved Florida State the previous inning, and Clemson failed to capitalize on golden opportunities late:

Aaron Fitt @aaronfitt

FSU beat Clemson 3-1, as Tigers squander bases-loaded chances in 7th & 8th. Great bullpen work by Billy Strode. Tigers need another W or 2.

The Seminoles needed this win after ending the regular season by losing five straight games, including a sweep at the hands of Clemson over the weekend.

Florida State head coach Mike Martin told Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel after the series against Clemson that the tough stretch wasn't the end of the world: “We are going through a tough time. The first season is over, we’re starting our second season now. That was one of those weekends where everything went right for Clemson.”

This turned out to be one of those days where everything went right for Florida State, even when it seemed like things were going to fall apart. The Seminoles got a much needed win in Pool A, and they start the tournament one step ahead of the Tigers in the round-robin format. 

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