May 21, 2005
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Matt Spencer had a bunt single and stole home in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift No. 15 North Carolina (40-14-1, 17-9-1 ACC) to a 7-6 win over No. 6 Georgia Tech (37-16, 21-8) in the resumption of a suspended game on Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels won their second straight one-run decision over the Yellow Jackets in the weekend series.
Despite the loss, the Yellow Jackets will be the No. 1 seed in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia Tech has clinched at least a tie for its second straight ACC regular season title, the fifth in school history.
With the score tied at 6-6 after seven innings, Spencer manufactured a run for the Tar Heels in the bottom of the eighth. With one out, Spencer put a bunt down the third base line for a single and then moved to second base on Greg Mangum’s infield single to second base. After Josh Horton reached on an error by Tech third baseman Wes Hodges to extend the inning, Spencer executed a straight steal of home on a 2-2 count to batter Matt Ellington.
Adam Kalkhof (4-1) earned the win in relief, working 3.1 shutout innings and allowing just one hit while striking out three. Matt Danford picked up his team-leading ninth save by working a scoreless ninth inning.
Tim Gustafson (4-2) took the loss out of the bullpen despite a solid performance. He worked 4.2 innings and allowed one earned run while fanning six.
Georgia Tech committed four errors which led to three unearned runs. The Yellow Jackets suffered their fifth one-run loss in ACC play.
North Carolina outhit Tech, 11-8, including three hits from Mike Daniel and two hits each from Mangum, Horton, and Jay Cox.
The Yellow Jackets built a 3-1 lead on Friday night before rain suspended the game in the top of the third inning. Tech scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a RBI single from Hodges and a RBI groundout from Matt Wieters, and Tyler Greene added a RBI single in the second inning.
A pair of sacrifice flies from Ellington in the first and third innings cut Tech’s lead to 3-2 after three.
Two errors and three hits led to three North Carolina runs in the fourth inning as the Tar Heels chased Tech starter Blake Wood from the game and took a 5-3 lead.
The Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead to in the top of the fifth inning on a three-run homer from Jeff Kindel, his fourth of the year, that made the score 6-5.
The Tar Heels tied the game at 6-6 in the seventh inning. A walk to Ellington and a single from Chad Flack put runners on first and third bases with one out before a fielder’s choice groundout from Jay Cox scored Ellington from third with the tying run.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Wood went three-plus innings and allowed three earned runs. North Carolina’s Andrew Miller went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs before being removed when the game was halted on Friday.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina will conclude the three-game series on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.