Cavaliers Take Top-Ranked North Carolina to Extra Innings for Thrilling 8-7 Victory
May 22, 2008
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - John Barr scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the 11th inning, then made a diving catch of a blooper hit to centerfield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th to end the game and give seventh-seeded Virginia an 8-7 victory over No. 3 seed North Carolina early Thursday morning in the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.
After Barr walked in the 11th, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Cannon, to third on a ground out and home on the wild pitch, the eventual winning run came when David Adams singled home David Coleman.
Michael Schwimer, the ACC's save leader, blew only his second save opportunity of the season in the ninth inning, failed to protect another lead in the 10th, but got the victory to improve his record to 3-1. He gave up an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th to Tim Fedroff, and was backed up by Barr's game-ending catch on a soft pop to short center by Chad Flack.
Flack had tied the game at 6-6 with a solo homer off Schwimer in the bottom of the 10th.
The Tar Heels (45-11), ranked first in three of the four major college baseball polls, led 4-3 entering the ninth. Virginia (37-19) rallied to take a 5-4 lead, highlighted by Barr's RBI single.
North Carolina tied it in the bottom of the ninth on Dustin Ackley's RBI triple.
Under the divisional round-robin format, Virginia will play Florida State on Friday at 5 p.m., while North Carolina will face Wake Forest at 8 p.m. FSU defeated Wake 8-3 on Wednesday in the other Division B game.
In Division A games Thursday, Georgia Tech edged North Carolina State 10-9 and Miami beat Clemson 7-1. Miami plays Tech at 5 p.m. Thursday and N.C. State meets Clemson at 8 p.m.
The teams with the best record in each division after playing three games each will meet in the championship game Sunday at 1 p.m.
Game 4 Notes: Virginia 8, North Carolina 7 (11 inn.)
Virginia improved to 5-9 against North Carolina in ACC Championship play with tonight's 11 inning win, which officially concluded at 1:26 a.m. on Thursday.
Tonight's contest was the fourth extra inning affair between North Carolina and Virginia in ACC Championship history. In the three previous games, all between 1982 and 1986, North Carolina was a perfect 3-0 against the Cavaliers, including a 3-2 12 inning win for the title in 1982.
Virginia is now 5-5 in 10 all-time extra-inning tournament games, while North Carolina falls to 5-8 in extra-inning contests.
The Cavaliers, now 37-19 for the 2008 season, are 38-60 in 35 all-time appearances in the tournament. Virginia is 7-4 in Championship games played in Jacksonville, Fla., while the Tar Heels fall to 63-58 in Championship play.
With David Adams' 15th stolen base of the year in the top of the 10th inning, Virginia set a school record for team stolen bases, with 129.
After surrendering three hits and three runs in innings one and two, North Carolina starter and ACC Pitcher of the Year Alex White held the Cavaliers both scoreless and hitless during his remaining five innings on the mound. White, who held Virginia scoreless over seven innings in his only previous ACC Championship start in 2007, has allowed just five hits and struck out 16 in 14 innings of tournament play and holds a 1-0 career record.
With 11 strikeouts in seven innings, White tied the record for strikeouts in ACC Championship games played in Jacksonville, Fla. That record was set earlier Wednesday by Clemson's D.J. Mitchell. White has struck out six or more batters in 11 of his 14 showings in 2008.
Earning the win for the Cavaliers was senior reliever Michael Schwimer, who struck out five over three innings and induced the game-ending fly ball from Tar Heel third baseman Chad Flack. Schwimer's outing was his second-longest of the 2008 season and just his second of more than two innings.
North Carolina senior third baseman Chad Flack added to his career hit total with a single and double against Virginia's Carraway, and a game-tying home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Flack, who is now 14-for-37 (.378) with 10 RBI and a trio of home runs in his ACC Championship career, leads UNC in career hits (318) and now ranks second in runs (203) and total bases (512) and third in both extra-base hits (106) and RBI (205).