ACC Tournament Notes
Tar Heels avoid early
By Sean Ryan
SALEM, Va. – UNC may have had a little extra
incentive to win its game against Florida State. By beating the Seminoles, the
Tar Heels avoided the early game tomorrow and the early wake-up call that goes
“Winning the second game is extremely important,” Tar Heels coach
Mike Fox said. “They [his players] knew the losing team had to get up tomorrow
at 7 a.m. I don’t think they wanted to do that again.”
This is the first time in Fox’s five years that the Tar Heels
have won two games at the ACC tourney. Sean Farrell, who drove in the
game-winning run, said that the early wake-up call wasn’t a motivating factor.
More important, he said, was ending the trend of getting close and not getting
the big hit when needed.
“It’s good to finally saw we got that key hit,” Farrell said.
FSU coach Mike Martin had the
choice of walking Farrell in the 10th inning after catcher Tony
Richie picked Jeremy Cleveland off first, leaving the winning run on second with
one out. He didn’t, but he was thinking about it.
“We got the second strike,”
Martin said. “And that’s usually the kiss of death. Usually the worst thing you
can do when you’re thinking about walking a guy is getting the second strike.”
Farrell singled down the
left-field line off Rhett James to win it for UNC.
North Carolina catcher Ryan Blake
was hit in the ankle by FSU starter Trent Peterson and left the game. Tar Heels
coach Mike Fox said the ball hit Blake on the outside part of his left ankle. He
had not spoken to the trainer as to Blake’s availability the rest of the
tournament. “Ryan’s one of the toughest guys we’ve got,” Fox said. “When he says
he can’t go, he’s hurt.”
Martin paid Peterson a visit in the eighth
inning, and left his ace on the hill with the bases loaded and two outs to face
“I wanted him to get the last out,” Martin
said. “I didn’t want to turn the ballgame over to someone else. He had worked
his fanny off to put us in a position to win the ballgame.”
Peterson got Iannetta to line out to center.
Florida State played for the
second straight day without leading hitter Eddy Martinez-Esteve. Martinez-Esteve,
a freshman third baseman, hasn’t started since April 25th because of
a hamstring injury. He’s batting .367, and he remains questionable for the rest
of the tournament.
When asked if it was his first
game-winning homer of the year, Joe Koshansky replied: “That’s the first I think
I’ve ever had.”
Adam Laird was the winner for
Virginia in Friday’s second game. It was the first win this year. “It’s actually
my first win in two years,” Laird said. “It’s definitely going to be a memorable
Wake Forest coach George Greer
held his tongue until the waning moments of the Demon Deacons’ press conference
to get something off his chest.
Greer, whose team dropped a
12-11, 10-inning thriller to Virginia, credited his team for persevering through
a maddening season.
Nick Blue, who hit .355 a year
ago with 40 RBI, missed this year because of surgery. Catcher Ryder Mathias
missed time after having knee surgery. Ryan Hubbard played most of the year with a torn left rotator cuff. First
baseman Jeff Ruziecki started the year with a broken thumb and ended it with a
partially torn ligament in his knee. And Ryan Johnson missed two weeks with a
“These guys played all year and
didn’t complain,” Greer said, adding that his squad didn’t bring up the problems
all year. “We did not use it as an excuse at all.”