Bill Hass on ACC Baseball, at the ACC Baseball Championships, from NewBridge Bank Park and Bill will fill us in on the play of the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, Jake Davies of Georgia Tech…..Play on Davies coming in here through Saturday and leading up to Sunday’s Title Game, vs. Miami…..Bill Hass on ACC Baseball from www.theacc.com….
High-Energy Davies Delivers at the Plate, on the Mound….
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Jake Davies has put a new twist on an old saying: Pitch effectively and carry a big stick.
The energetic Georgia Tech senior not only continued his hot hitting with his fourth home run of the ACC Baseball Championship, he took the mound and earned the win Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets’ 5-1 victory over Clemson propelled them into Sunday’s championship game, scheduled for noon at NewBridge Bank Park.
So is Davies a first baseman who pitches or a pitcher who also plays first base?
“I just consider myself a baseball player,” he said. “I just love the game; love every facet of it, down to what kind of pitch you’re going to throw in certain situations. I love that it’s unpredictable. You go out there and play as hard as you can. It’s a boy’s game, so I just like to have fun.”
Unpredictable is an apt description for Tech. The Jackets are the tournament’s No. 8 seed, the last team that qualified, but they won Pool A with victories over No. 1 Florida State, No. 4 Virginia and No. 5 Clemson. All were must-win games – if they had lost Saturday, either Clemson or Virginia would have advanced.
The left-handed Davies, whose brother is Kyle Davies of the Toronto Blue Jays, had pitched in relief as a freshman and sophomore, compiling a 5-0 record. He made only one appearance as a junior, but relieved nine times this year before moving into the rotation. His success had been sporadic, with a 0-3 record and 6.17 ERA.
But he was outstanding Saturday. Coach Danny Hall said he was looking for five innings and around 90 pitches from Davies. He delivered six innings on 92 pitches “and I’ll take that every time,” Hall said.
After surrendering a home run to leadoff hitter Steve Wilkerson, Davies allowed no more runs and just one other hit, with one walk and three strikeouts. He earned his first victory since March 27 of 2010. Alex Cruz recorded the save with three solid innings of relief.
Davies got the Jackets off to a good start in the top of the first with a two-run homer off Clemson starter Kevin Pohle. He said Pohle threw him five straight fastballs, one of which he hit well but foul. Then he backed slightly off the plate, got another fastball and powered it over the fence in right field. He now has four homers and nine RBIs in the tournament.
“I’m seeing the ball well right now in this tournament,” Davies said. “Everything looks big to me, I don’t know why. All of a sudden I feel real comfortable at the plate.”
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