Baseball Wins Game of Rallies, Tops No. 1 UNC in 11
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. After battling No. 1 North Carolina into the wee hours of Thursday morning, Virginia earned a wild 8-7 win in 11 innings in the teams’ opening game of the 2008 ACC Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. The Tar Heels are the tournament’s No. 3 seed, while Virginia owns the No. 6 seed.
Virginia trailed 4-3 heading to the ninth inning but rallied for two runs. North Carolina tied the game with two out in the bottom of the ninth, and the teams then exchanged runs in the 10th inning. The Cavaliers scored twice in the top of the 11th inning and UNC scored once in the bottom of the frame before leaving the bases loaded when John Barr (Fr., Ivyland, Pa.) made a diving catch on Chad Flack’s shallow fly ball.
The game lasted three hours, 40 minutes, ended at 1:26 a.m. and was the longest Virginia ACC tournament game by innings since 1983.
Barr led the Cavaliers’ offense with two hits, three runs scored and two stolen bases, while David Adams (Jr., Margate, Fla.) snapped out of his recent slump with two key singles. Phil Gosselin (Fr., Ivyland, Pa.) added two RBI. Flack had three hits, including a 10th-inning home run, to pace the Tar Heels’ 15-hit night.
Virginia (37-19) recorded four stolen bases, as it set a school single-season record with 129 steals. It tops the 2007 mark of 128. Greg Miclat (Jr., Concord, N.C.) stole his 83rd career base to tie David Stone (1999-2002) for tops on the Virginia career stolen bases ledger.
Michael Schwimer (Sr., Alexandria, Va.) earned the win for Virginia and improved to 3-1 after pitching three innings. He allowed three earned runs, five hits and two walks while striking out five. North Carolina reliever Colin Bates (6-1) pitched the final 1.1 innings and gave up two earned runs, one hits and two walks.
Andrew Carraway (Jr., Marietta, Ga.) started for the Cavaliers and pitched into the sixth inning. He threw five innings, allowing four earned runs and eight hits while striking out seven and not walking a batter. Matt Packer (So., Germantown, Tenn.) threw three scoreless innings of relief for the Cavaliers.
Reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Alex White shook off a slow start to pitch seven innings for North Carolina (45-11). He allowed three runs (one earned) and three hits while walking four and striking out 11. White retired the last 10 batters he faced.
The Cavaliers got off to a quick start with two first-inning runs on a Gosselin double to score Patrick Wingfield (Sr., Winchester, Va.) and Jeremy Farrell (Jr., Westlake, Ohio).
UVa manufactured another score in the second inning. Barr led off with a single and moved up on a groundout. He advanced to third on a Miclat single. Wingfield then struck out with Miclat running, and as Miclat stole second, Barr sprinted home and beat the throw to give Virginia a 3-0 lead.
North Carolina shaved two runs off the lead in its half of the second. With one out, Kyle Seager and Tim Federowicz connected on back-to-back doubles. Federowicz moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a Carraway balk.
The Tar Heels evened the score in the fifth inning on a Seth Williams solo home run. UNC then put runners on first and third with one out, but Carraway struck out Ben Bunting and induced Tim Fedroff to ground out to end the threat.
North Carolina took the lead in the sixth inning. Flack led off with a double to end Carraway’s evening. Packer entered and after a Seager sacrifice, Federowicz lined a single through the drawn-in infield to give the Tar Heels their first lead, 4-3.
Virginia scored twice in the ninth inning against North Carolina reliever Rob Wooten to take a 5-4 lead. Gosselin led off with a walk and Jarrett Parker (Fr., Stafford, Va.) came on to pinch run. Franco Valdes (So., Miami, Fla.) bunted Parker to second and Parker then scored on a Barr single to center. Barr stole second, moved to third on an errant throw and scored on a Tyler Cannon (So., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) groundout.
North Carolina staged a late rally off Schwimer, getting a two-out single from Garrett Gore, who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Dustin Ackley triple to right-center.
Virginia scored once in the 10th inning. Adams hit a one-out single and stole second on the next pitch. After an intentional walk to Farrell, Dan Grovatt (Fr., Tabernacle, N.J.) ripped a single to center to plate Adams.
Once again, the Tar Heels came up with a game-tying run, as Flack homered off Schwimer in the bottom of the 10th. It marked the first long ball Schwimer has allowed all season.
Virginia posted two in the 11th inning. With two out, Barr scored on a Bates wild pitch. Adams followed with a single to score David Coleman (Fr., Richmond, Va.) and give UVa an 8-6 lead.
UNC promptly put the first two batters on in the bottom of the 11th. After a sacrifice bunt, Ackley was intentionally walked to load the bases. Fedroff followed with a single up the middle, but Adams made a sprawling stop to keep the ball on the infield and limit the damage to just one run. Schwimer then got Flack to hit a blooper to center and Barr made a diving catch to end the game.
Virginia has an off day in the tournament Thursday before returning to play No. 2-seed Florida State at 5 p.m. Friday. The Cavaliers also will play No. 7-seed Wake Forest at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday.