March 28, 2004
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Right fielder Marshall Hubbard and designated hitter Matt Ellington each drove in three runs, and No. 16 North Carolina (20-6, 4-2 ACC) took advantage of a school-record 10 Florida State errors to defeat the No. 12 Seminoles (21-7, 4-2 ACC) by a score of 12-6 Sunday at Boshamer Stadium. With the win, the Tar Heels won just their third-ever series from FSU since it began ACC play in 1992.
Hubbard, who went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Ellington, who was 3-for-5 with three RBI, led the 11-hit attack for the Tar Heels. Catcher Chris Iannetta, who has hit safely in each of the last 15 games, was 3-for-4 with three runs scored.
In addition to the Tar Heel offensive output, the Seminoles aided the Carolina cause with the 10 errors, including four from second baseman Ryne Malone. The 10 miscues eclipsed the Seminole school record of nine, set against Valdosta State in 1988.
Carolina senior Michael Gross (3-0) earned the win after tossing a scoreless final 2.1 innings. He scattered four hits and also struck out four batters. FSU’s Kevin Lynch (3-3) took the loss.
Carolina has now won five of its last six in Chapel Hill and seven of its last 10 overall against FSU. The Tar Heels swept the Seminoles in 2002 and also took the 1995 series in Tallahassee. UNC won 10-4 on Friday, while Florida State took Saturday’s game 10-6.
Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Tar Heels sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five unearned runs courtesy of five Seminole errors in the frame. After the first run of the inning scored on an error by FSU third baseman Dennis Anderson, Ellington singled to right field to drive in the second run of the frame. Carolina tied the game when pinch hitter Chase Younts hit a sacrifice fly to left that scored Sammy Hewitt from third and two errors later Ellington crossed the plate to make the score 5-5. The Tar Heels took a 6-5 lead when pinch hitter Ross Cook, who walked, came home as second baseman Greg Mangum reached on a throwing error by Malone, the fifth and final miscue of the inning.
FSU came back to tie the score at six in the top of the seventh. Center fielder Shane Robinson, who walked to lead off the inning, scored as designated hitter Brant Preacher grounded into a bases-loaded double play.
The Seminoles’ defensive struggles continued in the seventh, where Carolina scored twice to take an 8-6 lead. Iannetta doubled to start the inning and took third as Hewitt reached on Malone’s fourth error of the day. Iannetta then scored when Ellington reached on an RBI bunt single. Second baseman Craig Corrado later drove in Hewitt on a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
The Tar Heels added four in the eighth to put the game away. Third baseman Justin Webb led off the inning with a solo home run to left, and three batters later Hubbard doubled off the left field wall to push the lead to 11-6. Ellington singled to center to drive in the final run of the game.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Eddy Martinez-Esteve’s two-run homer to left. The round-tripper scored shortstop Bryan Zech, who singled, and was his third of the series and 10th of the season.
Carolina scratched for one run in the bottom of the inning to trim the lead to 2-1. Left fielder Jay Cox doubled to right and moved to third on Iannetta’s single through the left side. Cox then scored when Hubbard reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Seminoles added three more runs via the long ball to claim a 5-1 lead. Malone hit solo shots in both the fourth and sixth innings, and Zech went deep in the fifth. With four homers Sunday, the Seminoles hit nine in the three-game set versus Carolina, which had allowed just 11 long balls entering the series.
Zech was 3-for-5 on the day, and three other Seminoles added two more hits. FSU starter Mark Sauls went 5.1 innings and allowed five runs (one earned) on six hits and one walk.
Carolina starter Andrew Miller allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. The freshman also stuckout six batters, including five in a row at one point. Four of the six hits allowed by Miller were home runs.