The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday June 8th

Baseball Goes Down In Another ACC Game

N.C. State defeated UNC 16-9 in front of 2,507 at Doak Field on Friday, dropping the Tar Heels

(17-13) to 0-7 in the ACC and adding to the worst conference start in school history.

UNC had to wait through six hours worth of rain delays only to see the rest of the series postponed.

In Friday's game, North Carolina took an early 2-1 lead in the top of third when first baseman Jeremy Cleveland delivered a two-run single into left field, scoring Sean Farrell and Ryan Blake.

But the Wolfpack (14-13, 5-5 in the ACC) responded in its half of the third with six runs to take a 7-2 lead.

N.C. State capitalized on two third-inning errors by the Tar Heels.

Colt Morton got things started by ripping a Scott Autrey offering into the left field corner, scoring Brian Wright who reached on a single.

Autrey appeared to escape further damage when David Hicks hit a one-hopper back to the mound, setting up a tailor-made 1-6-3 double-play.

But his throw skipped into the outfield, scoring Morton and extending the inning.

UNC third baseman Chris Maples misplayed a tricky hop on the next play, allowing two more runs to score.

"You just have to make plays, and we weren't able to do that in crucial situations," UNC coach Mike Fox said Sunday.

The Tar Heels battled back in the next two innings to take an 8-7 lead. Designated hitter Jason Howell and Maples each delivered two-run singles, and second baseman Russ Adams drove in the other two runs on a single and a ground out.

Both teams' offenses had their way early on as every player reached base by the fourth inning, but N.C. State's bullpen decided the outcome.

Junior righthander Mike Sollie shutdown UNC in the final 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and surrendering one run on one hit.

"Sollie really stepped up and did the job when it had to be done," N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said.

While Sollie held the Tar Heels at bay, the Wolfpack took the lead for good in the fifth off of UNC reliever Kevin Brower, who picked up the loss.

A throwing error by Brower (1-1) allowed the go-ahead run to cross and after five innings N.C. State held an

11-8 advantage.

The Wolfpack, led by freshman Joe Gaetti's three RBI and Jamey Shearin's four runs scored, added five more runs in the final three frames.

Howell, Adams, Maples and shortstop Chad Prosser each collected two hits to lead the Tar Heels.

North Carolina desperately needs a conference win but they are focusing on simply improving at this point.

"It's just a matter of not looking at the standings and worrying about our record, but just going out and playing better," Fox said.

They'll get their chance today against the Wolfpack in a twin bill.

Adams said, "One thing that we all have to do is just find a way to be confident and think positive."

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