Virginia Falls To North Carolina On Walk-Off Home Run By Cleveland In The 10th Inning, 4-3
May 16, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of Virginia baseball team dropped a heart-breaking 4-3 decision in 10 innings to the North Carolina Tar Heels in the second contest of an Atlantic Coast Conference doubleheader at UNC’s Boshamer Stadium. With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the 10th inning, North Carolina’s Jeremy Cleveland belted a solo home run to right-center field to win the game for the Tar Heels. UNC’s win tied the series at 1-1 following UVa’s 6-4 victory in game one of the doubleheader earlier this afternoon.
North Carolina broke open a scoreless ballgame in the bottom of the third inning and took a 1-0 lead when Chase Younts doubled down the right field line before he came around to score a run in UNC’s next at-bat after Cleveland connected on a RBI-single to center field.
But Virginia stormed back in the top of the fourth inning and the Cavaliers took their first lead of the contest when Joe Koshansky crushed a two-run home run deep to right field. Koshansky’s home run, his sixth of the season, also drove in Mark Reynolds who was already on first base after hitting a single to left field in UVa’s previous at-bat to give Virginia a 2-1 lead.
The Cavaliers extended their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth inning when Eric Christensen singled to lead off the inning before he came around to score a run four batters later on a RBI-single to right field by Koshansky.
UNC trimmed UVa’s lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning when North Carolina’s Cleveland singled to start off the side for the Tar Heels before he scored a run two batters later on a RBI ground out by Sammy Hewitt.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, North Carolina manufactured a run and tied the game at 3-3 when Hewitt connected on another RBI-single, this time to left field, to drive in pinch runner Blair Waggett from second base. Waggett entered the game after Younts reached first base on a UVa error.
Waggett’s game-tying run eventually sent the game into overtime. In the bottom of the tenth inning with the scored tied 3-3, Cleveland connected on his walk-off home run to lead North Carolina to the 4-3 victory.
UVa starting pitcher Chris Gale went 7.1 innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and struck out one batter in a no-decision. The Cavaliers’ Gabe Spooner (0-5) took the loss after going 2.0 innings and allowed one run on two hits despite a team-high three strikeouts.
UNC starting pitcher Adam Kalkhof lasted 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits to go along with two strikeouts in a no-decision. The Tar Heels’ Whitney Benson (2-2) picked up the win after going just 0.2 innings with two strikeouts.
With the loss, Virginia’s record falls to 27-23 overall, 10-12 in the ACC. The victory improves North Carolina’s record to 37-18 overall, 13-10 in the conference.
Following the split in today’s doubleheader, UVa assures itself the #6 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament (May 20-25 in Salem, Va.) and will play the #3 seeded team (TBA) in the event.
The Cavaliers and Tar Heels will return to action on Saturday, May 17th to play the third and final contest of the three-game ACC series. First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM at UNC’s Boshamer Stadium.
— UVa —