April 9, 2004
ATLANTA – Chris Iannetta homered and drove in three runs and Jay Cox added a two run homer to lead No. 8 North Carolina (25-6, 8-2 ACC) to a 9-7 win over Georgia Tech (18-14, 2-5) in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series on Friday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
North Carolina starter Daniel Bard improved to 6-0 after working into the eighth inning. The freshman allowed five runs on six hits in seven-plus innings, walking two and striking out five.
Iannetta extended his hitting streak to 21 games, while Cox, Matt Ellington and Blair Waggett had two hits apiece. Tech freshman Wes Hodges paced the Yellow Jackets’ offense with three hits and two RBI.
North Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Greg Mangum led off the game with a triple and Cox followed with a two-run homer to right field, his second of the year.
Micah Owings pulled the Yellow Jackets to within 2-1 in the second inning with a solo homer, his ACC-leading 12th of the season. Owings and teammate Eric Patterson each extended their season-long hitting streaks to 14 games.
A two-out single from Mike Daniel and a RBI triple from Waggett gave the Tar Heels a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but Brandon Boggs’ two-run homer, his fourth of the year, tied the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Tar Heels scored six unanswered over the fifth and sixth innings to take a 9-3 lead. Iannetta’s three-run homer, his eighth, made the score 6-3 in the fifth. UNC scored three more runs in the sixth, loading the bases with no outs before Cox delivered a RBI single, Bryan Steed scored when Iannetta was hit by a pitch, and Mangum scored on Marshall Hubbard’s double play groundout.
Tech scored three times in the bottom of the eighth to pull within 9-7 and had a potential fourth run of the inning thrown out at home plate. A walk to Whit Robbins and a double from Eric Patterson to lead off the inning chased Bard from the game, before Hodges followed with a double off reliever Michael Gross that drove in both runners. Clifton Remole drove in Boggs with a RBI single for the third run of the inning, but Remole was thrown out at home while trying to score from first base on Steven Blackwood’s double to left field.
Gross retired the side in order in the ninth inning to close out the game.
Tech starter Brian Burks (2-3) took the loss after allowing seven earned runs in five-plus innings of work.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina continue the three-game series on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised by Fox Sports Net South. The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels will conclude the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.