North Carolina Belts eight Homers, Downs NC State Baseball 12-5
April 20, 2002
RALEIGH, N.C. - Chris Maples hit three home runs and Sean Farrell hit two to pace an eight-homer attack that propelled North Carolina past NC State, 12-5, on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at UNC's Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels, who have won the first two games of the series, improved to 27-14 overall and 12-5 in the ACC. The Wolfpack fell to 25-16 overall and 4-10 in the conference. Carter Harrell (7-3), the second of three North Carolina pitchers, picked up the win after allowing three runs, two of them earned, on two hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five, and at one time set down 10 consecutive NC State batters. Kevin Brower picked up his first save with 1 1/3 innings of shutout relief. Wolfpack starter Derek McKee (3-4) got the loss. McKee worked 5 2/3 innings and was charged with seven runs on eight hits. He walked none and struck out three. He hit two batters. Two of the runs he allowed were unearned.
Maples, who closed out UNC's 10-2 victory over the Wolfpack on Friday night with an inning of scoreless relief, got the scoring underway on Saturday with a leadoff home run to left in the bottom of the second inning, his 15th of the season.
The Wolfpack took its first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Jeremy Dutton led off and was hit by a pitch while squaring around to bunt. One out later, Justin Riley took a curveball off the batting helmet, putting runners on first and second with one down. Mike Prochaska singled to right to tie the game at 1-1, and Joe Gaetti lined a single up the middle to drive in another and give NC State a 2-1 lead.
Sammy Esposito led off the top of the fourth for the Wolfpack and singled to right field. With one out, Dutton reached on catcher's interference, and Riley drilled a twop-out three-run homer to left, his eighth, giving McKee and the Pack a 5-1 lead.
North Carolina cut the lead to one at 5-4 with back-to-back homers in the bottom of the fourth, the first a two-run shot to left by Maples, his 16th, followed by a solo blast to center by Ryan Blake. McKee, battling control problems, hit the next two batters, Cleveland and Ron Braun, and Chad Prosser reached on a two-out error to load the bases, but McKee got Greenberg to fly to right field to end the threat.
The Tar Heels came back and retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth with two more home runs. Cleveland led off the inning and homered to center field. Braun lined out and Greg Magnum was caught stealing after getting hit by a pitch. Prosser appeared to end the inning with a grounder to shortstop, but Chad Orvella threw the ball away for an error, and Greenberg followed with a two-run homer to right to give North Carolina a 7-5 lead.
UNC finally scored a run without hitting a homer in the bottom of the seventh, but only after Sean Farrell led off the inning with a solo blast to left field, No. 10 on the season for him. With one away, Blake walked and went to second on a balk. Braun then hit a two-out single to left to drive in Blake and give the Tar Heels a 9-5 lead.
North Carolina added three runs and two more homers in the bottom of the eighth. Russ Adams was hit by a pitch with two outs, and Farrell and Maples followed with back-to-back bombs to give the Heels a 12-5 lead. Farrell's was his 11th and Maples' was his 17th.
The series will conclude on Sunday at 2 p.m. Mike Prochaska (4-0, 2.27) will start for the Wolfpack and will be opposed by Daniel Moore (3-1, 7.14) for the Tar Heels in a battle of lefthanhders.
Notes: Brian Wright tied the NC State career record for doubles with a two-bagger to left-center in the top of the ninth. That was his 70th, tying him with Brian Bark (1987-90). Also, Ryan Combs tied the career mark for appearances by a pitcher with his 73rd, tying Dustin Baker (1996-99).