No. 5 UNC Takes Series with 4-3 Walk-Off Win over Deacs
April 1, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Wake Forest rallied for a run in the top half of the ninth to make the score 3-3, but No. 5 North Carolina answered with a walk-off single in the bottom of the inning to steal a series win from the Demon Deacons on Sunday at Boshamer Stadium.
With the loss, Wake Forest drops to 19-11 on the season and 5-7 in the ACC. North Carolina improves to 22-5, 9-3 in conference play.
Junior lefty Brian Holmes was effective over seven innings in a no decision. He gave up three runs in his seventh start which saw him strikeout five and walk just two while scattering six hits. The Deacon southpaw encountered just one bumpy inning in the fifth but rebounded to put down the Tar Heels in 1-2-3 order in both the sixth and seventh frames.
John McLeod entered in the eighth inning and fanned two of the three batters he faced before Jack Fischer came on to pitch the final two-thirds of an inning in the game. Fischer was saddled with the loss to fall to 1-2 on the season. He was countered by UNC closer Michael Morin, who moved to 4-1 despite blowing the save opportunity in the ninth.
After a three run fifth by UNC, the Deacons trailed by one and were down to their final out before a clutch double by catcher Brett Armour on a full count pitch kick-started a late charge. Evan Stephens followed with a well-placed bunt down the third base line, which Morin picked up and fired wide of first, allowing Armour to touch home and even the score.
In the bottom half of the ninth, UNC's Michael Russell led off with a single before stealing second and crossing the plate on a one-out soft liner to left by Parks Jordan.
Wake Forest got on the board first in the opening inning when shortstop Pat Blair came around to score on a single up the middle by Rhine, and the Deacs narrowly missed scoring another when Conor Keniry was tagged out at the plate on a strong throw by UNC center fielder Chaz Frank.
The Deacs tacked on another run in the third as Mac Williamson mashed his team-leading ninth homer of the season deep to left center field, careening off a Boshamer Stadium light pole and bouncing back into the field.
The Deacs will be back at home on Tuesday to face UNC Greensboro at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.