Carolina Claims ACC Championship
DURHAM, N.C. -- North Carolina (52-8) claimed its sixth ACC Tournament title with a 4-1 win over Virginia Tech (38-20) Sunday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Freshman Taylore Cherry made his first career start for the Tar Heels on Sunday and delivered a championship performance as he eclipsed his season total in inning of 3.1 entering the day. Cherry worked around lead-off baserunners in the first and second innings before tossing another scoreless frame in the third inning.
The Carolina offense struck in the first inning for the 29th time this season as Landon Lassiter and Colin Moran registered back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners for Skye Bolt. A ground ball up the middle looked to be a potential double-play ball but the Virginia Tech second baseman mishandled the ball allowing Lassiter to score and everyone to reach safely.
A nearly identical inning occurred in the third for the Tar Heels as Lassiter and Moran went back-to-back with a double and a single before Bolt hit a ball to third that was misfired to second allowing another run to score for Carolina.
Cherry would toss another scoreless frame in the fourth inning before the Hokies loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning. Virginia Tech's Chad Pinder worked a full count against Cherry before hitting a ground ball that was scooped up by Michael Russell and fired to first for the final out of the inning.
The day would come to a close for Cherry in the sixth when Tyler Horan doubled to open the frame. The Hokies would load the bases against UNC reliever Trevor Kelley with nobody out. Kelley coerced a ground ball double play as a run came across to score and was able to get Brendon Hayden to lift a fly ball to center field to end the threat.
Kelley cruised from that point as he retired the next nine batters he faced in order to secure his second save of the year.
Carolina tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as the Tar Heels took advantage of the fourth Hokie error of the day. Landon Lassiter scored his third run of the afternoon on a misplayed sacrifice bunt attempt and Brian Holberton lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Skye Bolt to provide the final margin of 4-1.
2013 ACC All-Tournament Team
C - Garrett Boulware, Clemson
1B - Cody Stubbs, North Carolina
2B - Reed Gragnani, Virginia
3B - Sam Dove, Georgia Tech
SS - Chad Pinder, Virginia Tech
OF - D.J. Stewart, Florida State
OF - Chaz Frank, North Carolina
OF - Bryan Adametz, NC State
UTIL/DH - Mark Zagunis, Virginia Tech
P - Carlos Rodon, NC State
P - Kent Emanuel, North Carolina
MVP - Cody Stubbs, North Carolina