May 11, 2001
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Ralph Roberts homered and pitched six strong innings to lead North Carolina (30-23, 8-14 ACC) to a 10-5 win over visiting Georgia Tech (38-15, 12-10) on Friday night at Boshamer Stadium in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series.
Roberts (3-1) held the Yellow Jackets to three earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. At the plate he blasted a three-run homer, his fourth of the season, to seal the victory.
Whitley Benson came on to put out a ninth inning Tech rally and record the final out of the game to earn his fourth save of the season.
Tech starter Steve Kelly (7-3) took the loss after allowing seven runs in six innings despite tying his season high with nine strikeouts.
The game marked the return to the lineup of Tech all-American Mark Teixeira, who missed 10 weeks with a broken right ankle. In his first action since Feb. 23, Teixeira went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Georgia Tech took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly from Bryan Prince, but UNC immediately tied the score in the bottom of the inning with a two-out RBI single by Jason Howell.
The Tar Heels broke the game open with a five-run third inning, with four runs coming after two outs. Ryan Blake had a two-run double and David Prosser had a two RBI single in the inning.
The Yellow Jackets trimmed the lead to 6-3 in the top of the sixth, including a RBI single from Jason Perry, but the Tar Heels answered with a run on a Tech error in the bottom of that inning to make the score 7-3.
After a RBI single from Teixeira made the score 7-4 in the top of the seventh, UNC stretched the lead 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The first two batters of the inning reached base before Roberts belted his three-run homer.
Tech mounted a rally in the top of the ninth, scoring one run on a RBI single from Teixeira and then loading the bases with two outs, but Benson came on to strike out Jason Basil to end the game and seal the victory.
The Tar Heels outhit the Yellow Jackets, 12-8, including two hits apiece from Howell, Sean Ferrell, Adam Greenberg, Chad Prosser and Chris Maples.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.