April 16, 2011
Box Score (PDF)
RALEIGH, N.C. — Brett Williams and Cameron Conner drove in runs in the seventh and eighth innings Saturday, and NC State took advantage of three North Carolina errors to defeat the fifth-ranked Tar Heels 8-7 in the second game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Doak Field at Dail Park.
NC State has won the first two games of the three-game series, improving to 20-16 overall and 7-10 in the conference. North Carolina falls to 30-7 overall and 12-5 in the ACC.
Williams scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie, and Conner singled in Chris Schaeffer with a two-out single to left field to add an insurance run. Williams made it a three-run game at 8-5 with a two-out solo homer to left in the bottom of the eighth, his fourth long ball of the season.
That run proved crucial as the Tar Heels rallied for two runs in a 27-minute top of the ninth inning. Ethan Ogburn, reaching the end of his three-inning relief stint, walked Levi Michael and Colin Moran to start the inning, prompting Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent to summon Chris Overman from the bullpen.
Overman walked Jesse Wierzbicki to load the bases, then got Tommy Coyle on a chopper to shortstop Chris Diaz. Michael scored on the play to make it 8-6. Overman then walked Jacob Stallings to reload the bases, and Chaz Frank grounded to first base after an eight-pitch at-bat, driving in Moran to trim the NC State lead to 8-7 with two away. Overman got Brian Holberton on a groundout to end the game. The save was Overman’s fourth of the season and his second in as many games in the series.
North Carolina jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on back-to-back solo homers from Michael and Moran. Pratt Maynard and Andrew Ciencin responded with back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the first to cut the lead in half at 2-1. Conner doubled to lead off the bottom of the second and scored to tie the game at 2-2 on John Gianis’s single up the middle.
UNC retook the lead at 3-2 when Michael scored from third on the front end of an attempted double steal in the top of the third. Wierzbicki was out in a rundown between first and second on the play for the final out, but not before Michael crossed the plate safely.
Tar Heel reliever Shane Taylor hit Conner with a pitch with one out to start a three-run fourth inning for the Wolfpack. Gianis drew a two-out walk to put runners on first and second, and Chris Diaz hit a grounder to the right side of the infield that Coyle ranged far to his left to field, then threw away, allowing Diaz to go all the way to second on what was ruled a single and a throwing error. Conner scored on the play, and Gianis and Diaz scored when Michael booted Williams’s two-out grounder to shortstop.
Wierzbicki singled in Michael in the fifth and Ben Bunting’s RBI double in the sixth tied the score at 5-5.
Ogburn (4-2) worked three innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits to get the win. He walked four and struck out one. Overman worked a scoreless inning, walking two, to earn the save. Taylor (2-2) was the tough-luck loser after allowing five runs, all unearned, on two hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out two.
The Wolfpack and Tar Heels will play the final game of this three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line with streaming video on GoPack.com’s All-Access package. Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on GoPack.com.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.