Tar Heels Fall In Extras At Georgia Tech
ATLANTA -- No. 1 North Carolina (45-6, 20-5 ACC) dropped its first series of the year on Sunday as the Tar Heels suffered a 9-8 loss in 11 innings against Georgia Tech (32-20, 14-13 ACC) in Atlanta.
Carolina jumped out to a 7-1 lead after five and a half innings but the Yellow Jackets would not go quietly as they pushed across a pair of runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to climb within three at 8-5.
Holding an 8-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth the Tar Heels were three outs away from the series win but Georgia Tech would mount another rally and force extra innings where Zane Evans singled home the game-winning run in the 11th inning.
Starter Hobbs Johnson was able to work his way out of trouble most of the afternoon as he stranded seven base runners through his first four innings of work.
Johnson was not as fortunate in the fifth inning when Brandon Thomas opened the frame with a leadoff triple to right field. A wild pitch would snap Johnson's scoreless inning streak at 27.2 and pull the Yellow Jackets within two at 3-1.
The bats went back to work for Carolina in the sixth as the Tar Heels loaded the bases for Brian Holberton with two outs. Holberton laced a single to center to plate a pair of runs before Cody Stubbs singled home a run and Mike Zolk drew a bases loaded walk.
Georgia Tech scored a pair of unearned runs in the sixth inning to creep within four at 7-3.
Mott Hyde would connect on his second home run of the weekend in the seventh inning, a two-run shot, to pull the Yellow Jackets within three at 8-5.
Freshman Trent Thornton would work a scoreless eighth inning before issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth. A single to center field would put two runners on before a ground ball to short would record the first out of the inning. A hit by pitch would load the bases and a slow chopper to second base would prevent the Tar Heels from turning a double play as a run scored from third.
Zane Evans would single to center field to plate another run before Tate Parrish came on in relief to face the left-handed hitting Daniel Palka. Parrish got Palka to hit a ball on the ground but the ball got through the right side and into right field for the game-tying RBI single.
Chris Munnelly came on in relief and forced Sam Dove to hit a fly ball to left field that got caught up in the wind. Parks Jordan made an acrobatic diving catch to record the final out of the inning and send the game to extra frames.
Catcher turned relief pitcher Zane Evans retired the Tar Heels in order in the 10th inning before Munnelly worked around a one-out walk in the bottom half.
Evans would retire the Tar Heels in order again in the 11th before delivering the game-winning single in the bottom half.
The series loss is the first of the year for the Tar Heels and the first since Georgia Tech claimed a 2-1 series win in Chapel Hill a year ago.
Carolina will look to bounce back on Tuesday, May 14 when it hosts Appalachian State at 6 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.