March 17, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The Virginia baseball team scored five runs in the top of the 11th inning to post a 7-2 extra innings win at No. 1 North Carolina Saturday at Boshamer Stadium in the first of a three-game series between the teams. The Cavaliers improve to 18-3 (2-2 ACC) with the win, while the Tar Heels fall to 17-2 (3-1 ACC).
"This was a great win for our team," head coach Brian O'Connor said. "It was two great college baseball teams playing at an extremely high level. I was happy to see how we hung in there after giving up the lead in the eighth."
Greg Miclat (Concord, N.C.) went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and David Adams (Margate, Fla.) went 2-for-5 with 2 RBIs to lead Virginia offensively. Each extended their career-high hitting streaks to 12 games.
Jacob Thompson (Danville, Va.) matched his longest start of the season by going seven innings. He allowed one run on six hits while striking out five. Jake Rule (Waynesboro, Va.) picked up the win to improve to 2-1 as he pitched three innings of relief, allowing a run on three hits.
"Jacob Thompson gave us another quality start and Jake Ruke was the story of the game," added O'Connor. "Jake made a bunch of clutch pitches with the game on the line."
Casey Lambert (Harrisonburg, Va.) came in to pitch a perfect bottom of the 11th inning. It was Lambert's 92nd career appearance, tying the school record for career appearances set by Tim LaVigne (1997-2000).
The Cavaliers took an early lead with a run in the top of the first. Brandon Marsh (Alpharetta, Ga.) reached on a one-out walk and scored on Adams' two-out double to left-center.
Virginia held the 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth when North Carolina scored a run to draw even at 1-1. Josh Horton led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Dustin Ackley's single moved Horton to third before Seth Williams' single drove in Horton to tie the game.
The Cavaliers retook the lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out rally. Tyler Cannon (Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) walked and Mike Mitchell (Chesapeake, Va.) singled to put two runners on. Those runners chased Tar Heel starter Robert Woodard as North Carolina brought in Rob Wooten. Miclat gave Virginia the 2-1 lead as his double drove in Cannon.
North Carolina answered with a two-out rally of its own in the bottom of the eighth. Ackley singled up the middle and moved to third on Williams' hit-and-run single through the right side. Tim Fedroff's single up the middle scored Ackley to tie the game, 2-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, a possible Tar Heel rally was stopped as Tim Henry's (Fairfield, Conn.) diving catch on the warning track of the right-centerfield gap robbed Reid Fronk of a one-out extra base hit.
Virginia worked out of a jam in the bottom of the tenth. Walks to Ackley, Williams and Benji Johnson loaded the bases with two outs. Pinch hitter Mike Cavasinni hit a 3-1 pitch to third, where Patrick Wingfield (Winchester, Va.) stepped on the bag for the force out to end the threat.
Virginia retook the lead in the top of the 11th inning by exploding for five runs to take the 7-2 lead. Beau Seabury (Mount Vernon, Wash.) led off the inning with a single to center that fell in front of new centerfielder Cavasinni. John Scaglione (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) was inserted as a pinch-runner. At the same time, the Tar Heels replaced Cavasinni with Kendric Burney in center. Wingfield then hit a single to center that dropped in front of Burney to put two on with no out. After a balk moved the runners to second and third, Cannon came up and hit a fly ball to center that Burney lost and it fell for an RBI single to give Virginia the lead. Henry added to the lead with a double to the left centerfield gap that scored Wingfield and Cannon to make the score 5-2. Miclat followed with another double to drive in Henry, making the score 6-2. After a walk to Marsh, Miclat moved to third on a flyout to centerfield. Miclat came home on a sacrifice fly by Adams with the seventh run of the game for Virginia.
It was Virginia's first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since last season, when Virginia downed top-ranked Georgia Tech 6-3 in Atlanta. That game was O'Connor's 100th win at Virginia, while Saturday's win over the top-ranked Tar Heels was his 150th career win.
Due to the rain postponing Friday's game, the series will conclude with a doubleheader on Sunday. The first game will begin at noon with the second game to start 30 minutes after conclusion of game one. Sean Doolittle (Tabernacle, N.J.) will pitch game one with Matt Packer (Germantown, Tenn.) getting the start in the nightcap.
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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