March 20, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Fourth-ranked Florida State (14-4, 2-3 ACC) dropped the middle game of a three-game series to 17th-ranked North Carolina (15-5, 2-3 ACC) falling 10-4 Saturday afternoon inside Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels scored six unanswered runs after trailing by two early in the contest to even the series at a game a piece.
North Carolina broke open a three-run game in the seventh taking advantage of two Seminoles errors to plate four runs and rebound from Friday night’s tough opening series loss to the Garnet and Gold
“You really have to credit North Carolina in the way that they bounced back today,” said head coach Mike Martin. “That was an excellent performance by their entire ball club; Bates threw very well for them. You just have to give them all the credit today.”
Sherman Johnson was the only Seminole with multiple hits on Saturday recording a double and a single in his first two at-bats. Tyler Holt reached base on four of his five plate appearances as the junior center fielder singled to start the game and then walked in three straight at-bats before registering a sac-fly in the ninth.
The Tar Heels Chris Munnelly (1-0) picked up the win in relief as the freshman right hander worked 3.1 innings allowing one run, unearned, on one hit as he walked one and struck out two. FSU’s John Gast suffered the loss, his first of the season.
It took the first two batters of the game for the Seminoles to match their hit total through the first seven innings of Friday night’s game as Holt and James Ramsey led things off Saturday afternoon with back-to-back singles. Holt worked the count full on UNC starter Colin Bates before lacing a base hit through the hole on the left side of the infield. After taking second on his third stolen base of the season, Ramsey ripped an RBI single to center scoring Holt to give FSU the early lead. Following a two out walk to Tapley, Johnson gave the Seminoles a 2-0 lead on an RBI double to right. Tapley tried to score from first on the play but was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Jayce Boyd led off the second inning with a single to right to extend his hit streak to a career-best seven games. Mike Meschke, making his first start and first appearance of the season for the Seminoles, drew a walk but was erased from the base paths as he was picked off at first by UNC catcher Jacob Stallings. After a groundout by Parker Brunelle moved Boyd to third, Holt drew a walk and moved into scoring position on his second stolen base of the afternoon. But that was as far as the Noles would advance as Bates got Ramsey looking on a called third strike to end the threat.
The Tar Heels went on top for good with three runs in the second to take a one-run lead. Gast got in trouble early as the first three UNC batters reached to load the bases on a pair of singles and a walk. After a strikeout to Dillion Hazlett, Mike Cavasinni plated the first UNC run of the game on an RBI groundout to second. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of Stallings who roped a shot down the line in right, scoring two, for his first triple of the season.
UNC increased its lead to 5-2 thanks to consecutive two-out base hits by Hazlett and Cavasinni. With Levi Michael on at third and Jesse Wierzbicki on at second following a double and a walk, respectively, Hazlett hit a bounding ball down the line at third that Stuart Tapley made a nice diving back handed stab to save extra bases. Tapley quickly got to his feet and threw a strike over to first but it wasn’t in time to get Hazlett at first for the final out. On the very next pitch, Cavasinni laced an RBI single to left scoring Wierzbicki for a three-run Tar Heel lead.
The Seminoles squandered a golden opportunity to cut into the Tar Heel deficit leaving the bases loaded in the fourth. Johnson picked up his second hit of the afternoon lacing a base through the right side to lead off the inning. Walks to Meschke and Holt ended the afternoon for Bates, who lasted 3.2 innings. Munnelly came out of the bullpen and got Ramsey to fly out to right field to preserve the Heels’ three-run lead.
Bates would not factor in the decision on Saturday as the junior right hander allowed two runs on five hits as he struck out five and walked a career-high five batters.
Gast’s (3-1) afternoon would come to an end after 4.1 innings of work as the junior southpaw gave up a season-high five runs on six hits in suffering his first loss of the season.
UNC pushed its lead to 6-2 plating a run in the sixth off Seminole reliever Tyler Everett. With the bases loaded, Wierzbicki just beat out a possible inning ending double play on a groundball hit to short. Stallings scored on the play after drawing a walk to start the Tar Heel sixth.
FSU took advantage of a Tar Heel error in the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-3. Holt drew a walk and advanced all the way to third on a failed pick off attempt by Munnelly. Stephen Cardullo came through with a big two-out hit drilling a line drive to left field plating Holt for the third Seminole run of the afternoon.
The Tar Heels widen their margin in the seventh scoring four times to take a 10-3 lead. A pair of Seminole errors led to UNC’s four-run inning.
Sean Gilmartin and Stephen McGee did their part to mount a ninth-inning comeback leading off the inning with back-to-back hits. Gilmartin laced a single through the right side, while McGee hit a double to the gap in right. Holt sent a sac-fly to center to bring home Gilmartin, but that was as far as the Seminoles would get as Michael Morin got a pair of fly outs to end the game.
The Seminoles return to the diamond on Sunday, March 21 at 1:00 p.m. for the final game of the series against North Carolina inside Boshamer Stadium. Fans can listen in locally on 100.7 FM and on the web at Seminoles.com. The game will be shown live over the internet courtesy of Tar Heels All-Access.