No. 5 Tar Heels fall at N.C. State, 5-4
Posted April 15, 2011
No. 5 North Carolina scored four runs in the top of the second but it was the only offensive output for the Tar Heels on a night that saw NC State (19-16, 6-10 ACC) claim a 5-4 win at Dail Park Friday night. Patrick Johnson suffered his first loss in more than a year in the contest as Ben Bunting drove in three runs for the Tar Heels. Game two is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Patrick Johnson had another shaky first inning Friday night as he allowed a pair of runs in the beginning of the contest.
Brett Williams opened with a lead off single to center and stole second before Johnson notched a strike out and a fly out. Johnson would get a little too close to Harold Riggins hitting the first baseman before Tarran Senay hit a double down the right field line to make the score 2-0 after one.
The Tar Heels answered once again in the top of the second as they pushed four runs across all with two down in the inning.
With one out, Jesse Wierzbicki singled past a diving shortstop before Chaz Frank and Brian Holberton each drew a free pass to load the bases for Seth Baldwin. The junior right fielder went down swinging leaving things up to Ben Bunting.
After watching a strike, Bunting drove a pitch to deep right field that bounced off the wall for a three-run triple as the Tar Heels jumped in front 3-2.
Levi Michael made it 4-2 with a single to center that scored Bunting from third ending the scoring in the second frame.
Johnson settled down once again in the second inning working a perfect frame, while notching a pair of punch outs to get back on track.
The senior right-hander would rattle off 11 straight outs from the end of the first until the bottom of the fifth.
With one out in the fifth NC State managed an infield single to third and a walk to put a pair of runners on base. A bunt by Brett Williams moved runners to second and third for Pratt Maynard who hit a ball down the first base line that skipped off of the first base bag and over Jesse Wierzbicki's head all the way into the right field corner plating a pair of runs.
Andrew Ciencin followed with a single that hit off relief pitcher's Greg Holt glove followed by the second base bag scoring Maynard from third to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Wolfpack.
NC State starter Cory Mazzoni did Johnson one better after the rough second inning retiring the next 11 batters he would face.
Seth Baldwin broke things up with a single to open the top of the seventh and moved to second a sacrifice bunt. Levi Michael would draw a walk to put a pair of runners on but back-to-back outs would end the threat in the seventh.
Colin Moran opened the top of the eighth with a shot down the right field line for a lead off double but would be stranded there as UNC's 7-8-9 batters all went down via strikeout.
Carolina would go quietly in the top of the ninth suffering its sixth loss of the year and fourth in ACC play.
Greg Holt threw two scoreless innings, while R.C. Orlan, Andrew Smith, Tate Parrish and Jimmy Messer all combined to keep the Wolfpack from stretching their lead in the seventh and eighth innings.
It will be a battle of lefties on Saturday as Carolina is slated to throw freshman southpaw Kent Emanuel, while NC State will counter with fellow left-hander Grant Sasser. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.