May 12, 2000
Chapel Hill, N.C. –
No. 4 Florida State outlasted 14th-ranked North Carolina 6-2 in a hard-fought, 13-inning Atlantic Coast Conference baseball battle Friday evening at Boshamer Stadium. Bobby Spano’s one-out RBI single in the top of the 13th inning was the game-winner for the Seminoles, who added three more runs in the inning for the final margin.
Daniel Hodges pitched 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win. Hodges allowed just two hits and struck out three Carolina batters. Derrick DePriest pitched 4.0 solid innings of relief for UNC but gave up FSU’s four runs on four hits in the 13th to fall to 2-4 on the season.
Both starting pitchers pitched admirably before being replaced with the game tied 2-2. In a bid to get his 10th win of the year, Ryan Snare pitched an effective six innings for Carolina, allowing two runs on six hits to FSU while striking out four, before Ryan Earey took the hill to start the seventh. FSU ace Mike Ziegler went 8.2 innings before being replaced in the ninth by Chris Ginn. Ziegler pitched a terrific game for the Seminoles, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out nine.
Ziegler got off to a fast start, retiring the first nine Tar Heel batters before the Carolina offense got going in the bottom of the fourth inning. Adam Greenberg led off the inning with a double down the right field line and Clay Hooper walked to get two runners on with no outs. Dan Moylan moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt and Tyrell Godwin fouled out before Ryan Earey’s two-out single to center gave the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead.
The Seminoles answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 2. After striking out Blair McCaleb to lead off the inning, Snare surrendered four consecutive singles and a walk before getting out of the inning on a stellar play in right by Matt McCay. McCay caught Karl Jernigan’s fly out to right and then threw out John-Ford Griffin at the plate to hold the Noles to just two runs.
The two teams battled neck and neck into the ninth inning, where Carolina loaded the bases and FSU used four different pitchers before the Noles made it out of the jam. With two outs, Earey got his second hit of the game, a double to left field. Pinch hitter Ryan Mathews was intentionally walked and McCay drew a walk of his own to put three men aboard, but Hodges got Sean Farrell to ground out to second to end the inning.
The action stayed heated into the top of the 11th inning, when UNC head coach Mike Fox was ejected for arguing a checked-swing call. FSU loaded the bases in the top of that inning but DePriest got FSU slugger Marshall McDougall to ground into a fielder’s choice play that ended the inning.
Ryan Earey, who was on fire at the plate all night long, came within inches of giving Carolina the win in the bottom of the 11th. Carolina’s home run leader with 12, the junior slugger sent a two-out shot off the top of the wall in left-center field for his second double of the evening.
Earey finished 3-for-6 with both RBIs, while Greenberg (3-for-6) and Godwin (1-for-6) were the only other Tar Heels to get hits on the evening.
Carolina drops to 42-12, 11-11 in the ACC, while FSU improves to 42-12, 14-8 in league play. The two teams continue their three-game series with games Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. before heading to Fort Mill, S.C., for next week’s ACC Tournament.