DURHAM, N.C.—Two teams needed to do some work at the ACC tournament in order to secure at-large berths. Boston College took care of business, beating Georgia Tech and Miami to essentially wrap up a bid. That put even more pressure on Duke, which lost its opener to North Carolina yesterday. But the Devils responded with a 10-4 win against Clemson behind a strong start from senior righty Andrew Wolcott (7.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER). With a win tomorrow against Clemson combined with North Carolina losses tonight and tomorrow, the Blue Devils can earn a trip to the championship game against Florida State.
Wolcott improved to 5-0, 2.66 against top 25 teams this year (though I can’t confirm all those matchups were against teams in the BA rankings). He’s the epitome of a big-game pitcher, and he was the big difference today against Clemson. As Tigers coach Jack Leggett pointed out after the game, Clemson had as many hits in the game as Duke (11 apiece), but Duke got the big hits when it mattered most, and Clemson did not. Buckling down with runners on base is the mark of a winner.
"We knew what we would get from Andrew—he’s been rock solid all year long, a cornerstone guy for our season and our program," Duke coach Sean McNally said. "He’s got great poise. People ask me about this guy, I always point to his poise. It usually takes him a while to settle in. He’ll probably tell you he didn’t have his best stuff today, but he just really, really competes. When guys get on, he certainly raises his level."
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