Late Inning Comeback Sparks Virginia To Series Win Over North Carolina In Ten Innings, 7-5
May 17, 2003
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of Virginia baseball team recorded a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels in the third and final contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Boshamer Stadium. UVa tied the contest four times before eventually pulling out the victory in the tenth inning to win the ACC series two games to one. The Cavaliers’ Paul Gillispie hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored teammate Joe Koshansky from third base for the game-winning run.
North Carolina came out of the gates fast and pulled out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a two-run RBI single by UNC’s Ryan Blake. Blake’s single snaked through the left side of the infield and drove in Greg Mangum (walk) and Chad Prosser (single) to give the Tar Heels a two-run lead.
But Virginia answered back in the top of the second inning and made it a 2-1 contest when the Cavaliers’ Joe Koshansky crushed a solo home run high, far and deep over the right field wall. Koshansky’s home run, his seventh of the season and his second in back-to-back games, got out of Boshamer Stadium in a hurry and clipped the treetops as the ball exited the facility.
UVa tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Koshansky reached base for the second time before he came to score a run two batters later on a RBI-double down the left field line by Chris Sweet.
UNC regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning at 3-2 when the Tar Heels’ Blair Waggett just missed hitting a solo home run to left field, but eventually made his way to home to score a run. Waggett placed a double off the top of the wall in the left-center field gap and came around to score a run two batters later when Prosser posted a RBI-single up the middle.
Virginia tied game for the second time, this time at 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning, when Scott Headd singled to shallow center field before Matt Dunn drove him in to score a run three batters later on Dunn’s RBI-single to center field. But North Carolina answered right back in the bottom half of the fifth inning and took a 4-3 lead when Sean Farrell blasted a solo home run to left field to give the Tar Heels a one-run advantage.
As it had done twice before in the contest, Virginia tied the ballgame for the third time on the afternoon, this time again off the bat of Koshansky after he crushed yet another home run into the trees beyond the Boshamer Stadium right field wall. Koshansky’s home run, his second of the game and his eighth of the season, was a solo shot to right-center field that knotted the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth inning.
Once again, UNC pulled ahead and took a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning when the Tar Heels’ Blake singled and crossed the plate two batters later on a RBI-single to left field by Wes Moyer to give North Carolina a 5-4 lead.
Virginia tied the game for the fourth time when it scored a much needed run in the top of the ninth inning to make it a 5-5 contest. UVa’s Headd reached first base on a fielder’s choice before Miguel Luina entered the game and replaced him as a pinch runner. Luina advanced to second base on a UNC throwing error before he scored a run in the Cavaliers’ next at-bat following a RBI-single to center field by Eric Christensen to tie the score at 5-5. Luina’s run eventually sent the game into extra innings.
The Cavaliers took their first and only lead of the game in the top of the 10th inning and when Paul Gillispie drove in the game-winning run after he hit a RBI sacrifice fly to right field that plated Koshansky who singled to reach base. Koshansky’s run was his fourth of the contest. Mark Reynolds also scored a run on the play following a UNC error to make the score 7-5 through nine and a half innings of play.
UVa starting pitcher Alan Zimmerer made his first start of the season and the third start of his career and lasted 3.0 innings. Zimmerman allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two batters in a no-decision. Virginia’s Matt Avery (2-4) picked up the victory after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. Scott Morgenthaler posted his first save of the season after striking out the final two batters in the win.
UNC starting pitcher Garry Bakker pitched 7.0 innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits and struck out three batters. The Tar Heels’ Zack Zuercher (1-1) took the loss after surrendering one run on one hit.
With the victory, Virginia’s record improves to 28-23 overall, 11-12 in the ACC. The loss drops North Carolina’s record to 37-19 overall, 13-11 in the conference. UVa won the series two games to one and it marked the first time known that the Cavaliers won a three-game series in Chapel Hill.
The Cavaliers will return to action on Wednesday, May 22nd when UVa travels to Salem, Va. to compete in the 2003 ACC Tournament. Virginia, the #6 seed, will face the #3 seed N.C. State in the event. First pitch is scheduled for 8:30 PM at the Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium.
— UVa —