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May 28, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. - North Carolina and Wake Forest completed a suspended game Saturday afternoon more than 14 hours after weather forced a Saturday morning suspension at the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Not much changed, as the Tar Heels expanded a 5-0 advantage into a 9-0 victory.
The rain stopped play with the Tar Heels batting in the top of the seventh. They also had two runners on base, both of whom scored on a double by Tommy Coyle immediately after the game resumed. Coyle scored in turn on a single by Jacob Stallings.
UNC added an additional run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Brian Holberton.
Patrick Johnson pitched six hitless innings prior to the suspension but did not return after the restart. The team no-hitter lasted only three additional batters, as Steven Brooks singled off reliever Chris Munnelly in the bottom of the seventh.
Johnson will go into the postseason riding a streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings. He fanned six of the final seven Demon Deacon batters he faced.
Bryant Gaines, Tate Parrish and Cody Penny finished up on the mound for the Tar Heels.
North Carolina backed Johnson with a barrage of long balls, including a season-high three home runs in taking a commanding early lead.
With UNC up 1-0, Greg Holt began the home run parade with his second homer, a two-run shot in the fourth that made the score 3-0. Solo homers by Levi Michael and Jesse Wierzbicki in the fifth extended the lead to 5-0. Wierzbicki had staked the Tar Heels to their early advantage with an RBI double in the first, a line drive fair by inches down the left-field line.
Wake Forest's only threat against Johnson came in the first, when the North Carolina ace walked two. But Pat Blair was picked off at first and Brooks was thrown out stealing. The Demon Deacons never came close to solving Johnson, who ran his record to 11-1.
Wake starter Tim Cooney (7-3) took the loss. A trio of relievers finished for Wake Forest after the restart.
North Carolina out hit Wake Forest 10-2, with Levi Michael accounting for three hits and scoring three runs. Wierzbicki had two hits, walked three times, scored three runs and drove in two runs.
Both teams play later in the day. Wake Forest faces Miami followed by North Carolina taking on Virginia. A Wake Forest win, followed by a North Carolina win would put the Tar Heels into tomorrow's title game against Florida State.
In the 276th meeting between two long-time rivals, sixth-ranked North Carolina pounds out six extra base hits, including a season-high three home runs, en route to a 9-0 win over Wake Forest.
The game starts at 12:09 a.m. Saturday and is suspended one hour and 46 minutes later at 1:55 a.m. ... it resumes at 4:32 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Wake Forest CF Stephen Brooks breaks up the no-hitter with a two-out single in the seventh inning ... pinch hitter Charlie Morgan picks up the Deacons' second hit with a ninth-inning single.
Tar Heel RHP pitcher Patrick Johnson posts his fifth straight win and raises his record to 11-1, striking out eight and not allowing a base hit in his six innings of work ... Johnson teams with Chris Munnelly, Bryant Gaines, Tate Parrish and Cody Penny for the Tar Heel's fifth shutout of the season
Over his last five starts, Johnson is 5-0 with a 0.63 ERA; has allowed only 15 hits in 28.2 innings while striking out 36.
North Carolina SS Levi Michael turns in his fifth three-hit game of the year, finishing 3-for-4 with a home run and an RBI.
Tar Heel 1B Jesse Wierzbicki is 2-for-2 with a double, a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs, three walks and two stolen bases.