Virginia Falls To #11 North Carolina In 14 Innings, 8-7
April 1, 2005
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia Cavaliers (19-7, 4-4 ACC) dropped a hard-fought 8-7 decision to the North Carolina Tar Heels (22-5, 6-2 ACC) in 14 innings in game one of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at UNC’s Boshamer Stadium. In a contest that featured several ties and lead changes, 10 batters hit by a pitch (nine by UNC) and even a “14th inning stretch,” the Tar Heels scored the game-winning run on Jay Cox’s RBI-single up the middle in a four hour and 40 minute marathon.
The loss ended UVa’s 11-game winning streak, while the win improved North Carolina’s record to 20-0 at home. The Cavaliers’ Ryan Zimmerman turned in an outstanding performance in the loss after the All-American third baseman went 5-for-6 at the plate with three runs, one RBI and also drew two walks.
Virginia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when the Cavaliers got after UNC starting pitcher Andrew Miller. Tim Henry led off the contest with a walk and scored a run two batters later on a RBI-single through the left side by Zimmerman to make it 1-0. Zimmerman scored a run himself three batters later on a RBI-single through the left side by Scott Headd to give UVa a 2-0 lead.
North Carolina came right back and tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning when Greg Mangum singled through the right side before Justin Webb hit a two-run home run to left field one batter later to knot the score at two apiece. Webb’s home run was his fifth of the season.
The Tar Heels took their first lead of the game and made it a 3-2 contest in the bottom of the second inning when Chad Flack drove a solo home run over the center field wall. Flack’s home run was his fourth of the season.
But the Cavaliers came back and tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the third inning when North Carolina’s Miller struggled mightily with his control. After hitting two batters in the first inning, Miller hit three more batters in the third inning. After a UVa ground out by Matt Street to start off the side, Zimmerman connected on an infield single to second base before three consecutive Cavaliers reached base after being hit by a pitch. Virginia’s Brandon Guyer and Sean Doolittle were both hit by a pitch to load the bases before Headd was hit by a pitch to plate Zimmerman for a run.
Virginia regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning and took a 5-3 lead by scoring a another pair of runs. Zimmerman walked to lead off the side, stole second base and then scored a run four batters later on a RBI-single to left-center field by Ryan Hudson to make it 4-3. UVa tacked on another run on a North Carolina error when a ground ball rolled right past UNC shortstop Josh Horton’s glove to allow Headd to score a run to give the Cavaliers a two-run lead at 5-3.
The Tar Heels battled back and tied the game again, this time at 5-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Seth Williams drilled a two-out, two-run bases loaded single up the middle to drive in Mangum and Matt Ellington.
The Cavaliers made the Tar Heels pay for another costly error and one of the nine batters hit by a UNC pitcher in the contest when Virginia took a 7-5 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Henry sent a two-run RBI-single through the right side to drive in Josh Darby (hit by pitch) and Mike Campagna (reached on error) to give Virginia a two-run lead.
UNC cut into UVa’s lead in the bottom of the seventh inning and made it a 7-6 ballgame when Webb singled before scoring a run two batters later on a RBI-single through the right side by Ross Cook.
Tar Heels eventually tied the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth inning when Mangum singled to lead off the side before scoring the game-tying run four batters later on a sacrifice fly to left field by Cox, sending the game into extra innings.
After four and a half innings of scoreless extra inning baseball, UNC plated the game-winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning when Cox’s RBI-single drove in Ellington who singled to lead off the side.
Virginia’s Robert Poutier (1-1) took the loss after going 1.0 inning on the mound and allowed one run on three hits. Poutier’s run allowed was the first run he has surrendered this season in 20-plus innings of work.
North Carolina’s Jonathan Hovis (3-0) picked up the win after going 3.0 scoreless innings and gave up three hits to go along with four strikeouts.
UVa starting pitcher Matt Avery went 6.0 innings and allowed six runs (four earned) on nine hits and struck out six batters in a no-decision. UNC’s Miller lasted just 5.0 innings and gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits and hit seven batters and walked four in a no-decision. Miller had only allowed three earned runs in 45.1 innings of work entering today’s game before Virginia plated four earned runs in this outing. Miller also entered the contest having hit five batters with a pitch all season before hitting seven Cavaliers in this contest.
With the loss, Virginia’s record falls to 19-7 overall, 4-4 in the ACC. The victory improves North Carolina’s record to 22-5 overall, 6-2 in the conference. UNC takes a one game to none lead in the three-game series.
The Cavaliers and Tar Heels will return to action on Saturday, April 2nd to play the second contest of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 PM at UNC’s Boshamer Stadium.
— UVa —