May 21, 2010
Tar Heels clinch series with 5-3 win over Tech
Hokies drop third straight despite solid effort from Price
(12) Virginia Tech (36-18) 003000000373
(26) North Carolina (35-20) 00000131X5112
  • Boshamer Stadium - 2,043

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – North Carolina scored all five of its runs from the sixth inning on, overcoming a three-run deficit to defeat Virginia Tech 5-3 in the second game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series on Friday night at Boshamer Stadium.

The loss was the third straight for the 12th-ranked Hokies, who fell to 36-18 overall and 16-13 in the ACC. It is just the second time this season that Tech has dropped three games in a row. The 26th-ranked Tar Heels kept their ACC Tournament hopes alive in improving to 35-20 overall and 13-16 in league play.

Carolina trailed 3-0 and had just three hits entering the sixth inning, but that’s when their comeback began after taking advantage of the Hokies’ third error of the game. Two batters after UNC’s Ben Bunting registered a one-out single, designated hitter Tommy Coyle hit a grounder to second that was misplayed Michael Seaborn, allowing Bunting to advance to third. Catcher Jacob Stallings quickly delivered a single to score Bunting, getting the Tar Heels on the board.

The Tar Heels put up three more runs in the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. After Tech starter Mathew Price allowed a leadoff single to third baseman Levi Michael, he was replaced on the mound by right-hander Sean McDermott. UNC second baseman Dillon Hazlett greeted McDermott with a shot to deep right field, but Austin Wates made a leaping catch at the wall to save at least one run. However, right fielder Brian Goodwin and shortstop Ryan Graepel followed with back-to-back singles, with Graepel’s poke bringing home Michael. Goodwin later scored on a base knock by Seth Baldwin, and Graepel touched home on a single from Coyle.

Goodwin provided an insurance run for UNC in the eighth when he doubled home Michael, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.

All three of the Hokies’ runs came in the third inning. The first tally came on an RBI single from left fielder Buddy Sosnoskie that brought home designated hitter Andrew Rash, who had led off with a base knock of his own and moved to third on a single from center fielder Sean Ryan. Catcher Steve Domecus’ 24th double of the season plated Ryan, and Sosnoskie then scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Wates. Domecus is now one double shy of tying the Virginia Tech single-season record of 25 set by Casey Waller in 1989.

Price gave the Hokies a solid effort on the mound before coming away with a no-decision. The sophomore right-hander threw six-plus innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk. Of his 113 pitches, 79 went for strikes, and he fanned five batters on the night. McDermott took the loss to fall to 1-1 after giving up two runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.

UNC’s Colin Bates was dazzling in relief of starter Chris Munnelly, throwing six shutout innings to pick up his sixth win of the year against two losses. He only allowed three hits – two of which came in the ninth – and hit one batter, while striking out seven. Munnelly lasted just three innings, allowing all three runs on four hits.

The Hokies and Tar Heels will conclude the three-game series on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).

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