After a bad start, the No. 1 seed Hurricanes will meet No. 5 Clemson at 7 p.m. Thursday in the 2014 ACC baseball tournament. The game will be broadcast on the ACC's Regional Sports Networks with an ESPN3 simulcast.
The Hurricanes, winners of 27 of their past 30 games until Wednesday, became just the second top seed in the past 29 Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournaments to lose their opening tournament game.
Georgia Tech made a late comeback to defeat the Canes 6-3.
The Hurricanes (40-16) took early leads of 1-0 and 3-1. Georgia Tech (34-24) scored two runs in the seventh, two in the eighth and one more in the ninth.
Andy Suarez allowed nine hits and three earned runs in 6.1 innings, and also had an error that got things started for the Yellow Jackets.
Reliever Chris Hammond took the loss in 1.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits. He's now 5-1.
"We've been hot lately," said UM outfielder Dale Carey, who went 3 for 4 with a home run and two stolen bases. "Just because we dropped one today doesn’t mean we can’t start another streak. That’s what we're planning on doing."
The good news for Canes fans is that UM swept Clemson April 25-27 in South Carolina. Those scores, in order, were 5-2, 3-2 and 10-2. UM's usual rotation during those weekend starts: Chris Diaz, Andy Suarez and Bryan Radziewski. ACC Co-Pitcher of the year Diaz (9-0, 2.32 ERA) is slated to start today.
This is a round-robin format, with the winner of Pool A (UM, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Clemson and Georgia Tech remains) playing the winner of Pool B (No. 2 seed FSU, No. 3 Virginia, No. 6 Maryland and No. 7 North Carolina) at 1 p.m. Sunday for the championship.
In other games, FSU beat UNC 7-1; and Clemson beat Duke 5-3.
On Thursday, Maryland was scheduled to play Virginia at 11 and Duke was set to play Georgia Tech at 3 p.m., before Miami's matchup.
Miami has off Friday, before resuming Saturday at 11 a.m. against Duke.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN