May 13, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, NC – Wally Crancer went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to lead No. 24 Georgia Tech (31-19, 15-10 ACC) to a 9-5 victory over No. 4 North Carolina (40-11, 17-9 ACC) Sunday afternoon in a continuation of a game that was postponed Saturday afternoon due to thunderstorms. With the win, the Yellow Jackets evened the series at 1-1.
Yellow Jackets starter Eddie Burns tossed four strong innings, giving up just one unearned run on three hits while striking out three, but did not figure into the decision after the game was postponed for a second time in the middle of the fifth inning.
Burns came back after weathering a two-hour, 15-minute rain delay with one out in the top of the third, but was unable to return following the postponement of the game in the fifth.
Chris Hicks took the mound in relief of Burns and held the Tar Heels off the scoreboard for three innings before giving up a wind-aided home run to Chad Flack in the eighth inning. The Yellow Jacket sophomore improved to 3-0 on the season by holding UNC to four runs on five hits while striking out two.
A first-inning hit by Danny Payne extended his hitting streak to 16 games, and the Yellow Jacket junior was Tech’s sparkplug for the second-straight game, going 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. With his first inning hit, Payne extended his streak of reaching base to 70-straight game appearances, dating back to Mar. 24, 2006.
Payne led off the game with a double to left field, moved to third on a groundout by Patrick Long and scored on Wieters’ RBI groundout to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Tech used a three-run home run by Crancer, his seventh of the season, to take a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning before UNC cracked the scoreboard with an unearned run in the bottom of the frame.
The Yellow Jackets responded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning to extend their lead to 6-1. Chris House led off the frame with a bunt single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brad Feltes, and advanced to third when Jason Garofalo’s grounder was booted by shortstop Josh Horton. A fielder’s choice by Long scored House and moved Garofalo to third base before Wieters plated the Yellow Jacket second baseman with a single to center field before the game was postponed due to weather.
Tech capped its scoring in the sixth inning when Crancer hit an RBI single and Murton added a two-run double off the top of the left-center field fence to push the Jackets’ lead to eight runs, 9-1.
Trailing by six runs, the Tar Heels loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Hicks forced Seth Williams to ground into a RBI fielder’s choice and got Ackley to fly out to left field before Tim Federowicz groundout out to end the game.
The Jackets and Tar Heels will conclude the three-game series Sunday afternoon in the final regular-season game at Cary Boshamer Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2:15 p.m., and the game can be followed on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) and WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org). Live stats for all Yellow Jacket baseball games can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.