The Tar Heels (42-20), hours off a
9-6 loss against South Carolina, were down in the first inning again. This time the scoreboard read 3-1.
"We figured if we put some runs on the board and take a lead early we would have a chance," said JMU left fielder Alan Lindsey, who tied UNC's Sean Farrell to lead the NCAA regional baseball tournament with two doubles.
A loss in Saturday night's game would have meant a quiet bus ride home for UNC. The Tar Heels had other plans and fended off the Dukes to win 9-7 before 1,492, a crowd that paled in comparison to the morning's 5,000-plus turnout.
Sean Farrell singled to left field during the eighth inning, bringing Mel Adams home and severing a 7-7 tie. Adam Greenberg scored one unearned run later in the eighth inning after Chris Maples singled to centerfield.
"This was a big game to come back, and this is really a one chance for our team to really go all the way," said Farrell, who lead the tournament as of Saturday with six RBI.
"I guess I just wasn't ready to finish playing yet."
UNC's pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in 38 at-bats, and Daniel Moore was given the opportunity to redeem himself. Earlier Saturday, during the matchup against South Carolina
(50-14), Moore gave up five runs to the first five batters.