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The Daily Tar Heel

Wake Runs Over Tar Heels

That normally wouldn't mean a whole lot to Sullivan, a senior from Pittsburgh, Pa., but instead of snagging fly balls, he was being asked to confuse Tar Heel batters.

Sullivan got his first career start on the mound Sunday at Boshamer Stadium, leading Wake to a 11-3 victory to complete a weekend sweep of the Tar Heels.

The Demon Deacons won Friday and Saturday's contests 12-5 and 12-7, respectively.

Although Sullivan's experience had been limited to five innings pitched in his Wake career, WFU coach George Greer hoped he'd be able to give the Deacons at least six good innings.

He gave them seven.

"I thought it was outstanding," Greer said of Sullivan's performance. "He changed speeds after he got over the initial nervousness and a couple of tight spots."

Sullivan finished the game with seven innings pitched, three hits, one run and gave up five walks.

Sullivan flirted with disaster in the first innings of the game. He gave up a solo homer to UNC catcher Ryan Blake in the second and walked two consecutive batters in the bottom of the third.

After Sullivan threw two straight balls with Blake up again, Wake pitching coach Bobby Moranda headed to the mound to counsel the senior.

"He just told me I was kind of pulling my head off of the fastball," Sullivan said. "(He said,) 'Just throw a fastball over the plate, get a ground-ball out and get out of the inning."

Sullivan then tossed three strikes to ring up Blake and got third baseman Chris Maples to ground to short.

Although his fastball got him out of a jam, it was his breaking ball that carried the day.

"He threw a lot of good off-speed pitches, and that's been one of our problems," said Blake, who had eight RBI on four hits in the three games. "We've been too anxious, going after bad pitches. He did a really good job of keeping us off-balance."

Sullivan helped his cause with a

3-for-5 day at the plate, complete with three RBI and a solo shot to lead-off the game. Wake right fielder Ryan Johnson got in the act with a grand slam in the top of the fifth off of starting UNC pitcher Scott Autrey.

"I felt like I threw the ball pretty well for the most part," said Autrey, who pitched more than 120 pitches in seven innings of work.

"It seemed like every time I got the ball up in the zone, that's when it hurt me. It seemed like it happened with me one time with the bases loaded -- that's going to hurt."

What really hurt the Tar Heels was pitching. Eleven pitchers combined to give up 42 hits and 35 runs in the series.

First baseman Jamie D'Antona hit the Tar Heels hard, compiling six RBI and a two-run home run.

Saturday, the Tar Heel bullpen blew a 6-1 lead in the sixth as Scott Senatore, Scott Manshack and Jason Howell gave up six earned runs.

Compounding their pitching woes was the Tar Heels' inability to get runners home. UNC didn't lack in opportunities, stranding 32 base runners.

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"You get in that box, and you want so badly to get a base hit," said UNC coach Mike Fox. "You try a little bit harder when you get people in scoring position, and we did it today. We left seven on in the middle part of the game.

"But what do you do? We hit some balls hard, but we didn't hit some balls hard enough when we had people in scoring position."

The Sports Editor can be reached at