Wells pitches Hokies past No. 4 UNC, 6-3
Win snaps eight-game losing streak to Tar Heels
March 24, 2007 BLACKSBURG, Va. - Senior left-hander Andrew Wells scattered four hits over seven innings, allowing just one unearned run, to help the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 6-3 Atlantic Coast Conference win over No. 4-ranked North Carolina Saturday afternoon at English Field in front of a season-high crowd of 2,065 fans. The victory improves the Hokies to 15-9 overall, and 4-4 in the ACC. The four conference wins already equals Tech's total from a year ago, when it went 4-25 in league play. North Carolina fell to 21-4 overall, 5-3 in the ACC. The win also snaps Tech's eight-game losing streak to the Tar Heels, which dated back to 1976. Wells earned the victory to improve to 2-1 on the season, while Alex White took the loss for UNC to fall to 3-1. All but two of the 10 Hokies to record an at-bat in the game tallied at least a hit, with center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) and left fielder Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) each producing two. It was the third straight two-hit game for Bumbry, who is hitting .600 (6-for-10) in the last three contests. First baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) registered two runs, one RBI and one stolen base after getting on base three times (one single, two walks). Garrett Gore paced the Tar Heels with a 2-for-4 performance that included two RBIs. UNC went deep into their bullpen, using six pitchers in eight innings, including starting catcher Tim Federowicz. The Tar Heels kicked off the game's scoring in the top of the second when Josh Horton scored from third on a 6-4-3 double play ball hit by Seth Williams. Horton had reached first base on a walk, and advanced to third on an error by Hokie third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.). Tech did the Heels one better in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead. Bumbry led off the inning with a single, and then came all the way around to score when catcher Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) crushed an RBI-double to the center field wall. Sosnokie advanced to third on Parks' sacrifice bunt before coming home on O'Brien's sacrifice fly to right field. North Carolina threatened to answer back in the top of the fourth when a single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with no outs. Wells (Alexandria, Va.) worked his way out of the jam, however, when he got the next three outs in succession on a foul out to first, a fielder's choice at home, and a fly out to right. The Hokies turned in another two-run inning in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 4-1. Parks singled with two outs, and then advanced to third on an O'Brien single in the next at bat. After O'Brien stole second, Thomas skied a fly ball to right field that looked like the inning's third out, but UNC's Williams continued to drift over from center toward right fielder Tim Fedroff, and the two ended up colliding as the ball dropped to the ground, allowing both Parks and O'Brien to touch home. Tech's third two-run inning of the game came in the seventh, pushing the lead to 6-1. O'Brien led off the frame with a walk, and advanced to third on a Thomas' subsequent double. O'Brien was able to tag up for the Hokies' fifth run on an Adam Redd (Dumfries, Va.) sacrifice fly to center, and Thomas came around to score the sixth run when Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) singled after entering the game as Jose Cueto's (Miami, Fla.) pinch runner in the sixth inning. UNC answered right back in the top of eighth with a pair of their own off of Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.), who took over on the mound for Tech at the start of the inning. The Tar Heels loaded the bases when Josh Horton walked, Chad Flack got hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Kyle Seager laid down a bunt single. Ninth-place hitter Garrett Gore then drove Horton and Flack in with a two-run single. Ballard struck out two of the three men he faced in the ninth inning to preserve the victory. The Hokies and Tar Heels are scheduled to play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at 1.