Four-Run Seventh Lifts North Carolina to 7-2 Win over Wake Forest
May 8, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the bottom of the seventh and held on for a 7-2 series-clinching win over Wake Forest on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
Wake Forest falls to 12-34 with the loss and 4-19 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. North Carolina is now 30-17 and 10-13 in the ACC.
Colin Bates (5-2) earned the win in relief for North Carolina, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings and giving up two hits. Wake Forest reliever Justin Van Grouw (1-4) suffered the loss, allowing two runs, only one earned, on two hits in a third of an inning.
Both starters pitched well, but did not factor into the decision. Wake Forest starter Austin Stadler recorded his fifth quality start of the season, striking out a career-high 11 batters and allowing just two runs, only one earned, on two hits in 6.0 innings. North Carolina starter Chris Munnelly also allowed just two runs on six hits with a career-high eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
Mike Murray led Wake Forest at the plate, reaching base all four times with two hits and two walks. Murray recorded his fifth straight multi-hit game. Pat Blair and Steven Brooks each had a solo home run in the contest.
Tommy Coyle and Ryan Graepel each had a pair of hits, while Brian Goodwin and Jacob Stallings drove in two runs apiece for the Tar Heels. Levi Michael had a solo home run for North Carolina.
North Carolina grabbed an early lead with a run in the bottom of the second thanks to three Wake Forest errors. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Graepel reached second on a two-base throwing error by Taylor Kaprive at third base. A fielding error by Blair allowed Coyle to reach and moved Graepel to third. Graepel came in to score on another error by Blair on a ground ball from Stallings to put the Tar Heels in front 1-0.
Wake Forest answered with a run in the top of the third. With two outs, Blair launched a solo home run over the wall in left field, his fourth homer of the season to even the game at one.
The Tar Heels took the lead back on a leadoff homer from Michael, his fifth of the season, to make the score 2-1.
The Demon Deacons evened the game for the second time in the top of the fourth. Brooks started the inning with a long solo homer to left-center field to tie the game. The homer for Brooks was his sixth of the season. Murray followed with a walk and then moved to second on a single to left by Carlos Lopez. Matt Conway attempted to move the runners up on a bunt, but his bunt attempt went over the mound and the pitcher threw out Lopez at second for the first out of the inning. The inning ended with a double play as Mac Williamson struck out swinging and Conway, who was attempting to steal second, was called out when the home plate umpire ruled that Williamson interfered with the catcher's throw to second base.
North Carolina regained the lead in the home half of the seventh, scoring four times. Coyle started the inning with a single to left. Stallings squared around to bunt, but instead swung away and doubled down the left field line to score Coyle from first to put North Carolina in front. Mike Cavasinni flied out to center for the first out of the inning and Ben Bunting grounded out to second to move Stallings to third with two outs. Michael was intentionally walked to put runners at the corners. Jesse Wierzbicki hit a grounder to short that was booted by Blair, allowing Stallings to score and moving Michael to third. Goodwin cleared the bases with a triple off the right field fence to put the Tar Heels in front 6-2.
The Tar Heels added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Coyle tripled down the right field line. Stallings laid down a bunt on a suicide squeeze and Ernst was unable to flip the ball to the plate, allowing Coyle to score from third for the seventh UNC run of the game.
The series between the Demon Deacons and Tar Heels concludes on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET). Sophomore RHP Michael Dimock (2-7, 6.10) will take the mound for Wake Forest, while junior RHP Patrick Johnson (4-3, 3.49) is the projected starter for North Carolina. A free webcast of the game will be available on TarHeelBlue.com.
For all of the latest information on Wake Forest baseball, please log on to www.WakeForestSports.com or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account @WFUBaseball or www.twitter.com/WFUBaseball.
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