May 23, 2003


CBI Live
Farrell delivers for Tar Heels
Fox, UNC edge No. 1 FSU

By Sean Ryan Co-Founder

SALEM, Va. - In 20 years as a head coach, Mike Fox has made his fair share of mistakes.

In the 10th  inning of Friday night's winners' bracket game against Florida State, the North Carolina coach decided doing nothing would be better than doing something. With no outs and runners on first and second, cleanup hitter Sean Farrell strode to the plate with three hits under his belt in what some would consider a bunt situation.

"I had no thought of bunting whatsoever," said Fox, in his fifth year in Chapel Hill. "I went into that inning saying I'm going to keep my hands in my pockets.

"I almost - I did run us out of two innings. I'm no dummy. I know when it's not my day, just to be quiet and let the kids play the game and win it."

That, Farrell and the Tar Heels did.

After FSU catcher Tony Richie, who had been a thorn in UNC's side all night, picked off Jeremy Cleveland at first, Farrell delivered a game-winning single down the left-field line to score Chad Prosser and give the Heels a 3-2 win over the top-ranked and No. 1 seed Seminoles. With the win, North Carolina (39-19) advanced to the winners' bracket final, where it will meet the winner of Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. FSU (48-9-1) fell into a losers' bracket game against Virginia.

"I managed to get around on that last one, put it where they weren't," said Farrell, who went 4 for 5 with two runs and an RBI.

In contrast to the day's second game - a 12-11 Virginia win over Wake Forest that saw spotty pitching - UNC's Andy Kalkhof and FSU's Trent Peterson were splendid.

Kalkhof faced one batter in the eighth before leaving tied at 2. He allowed eight hits and struck out four. The one batter he faced in the frame was Tony McQuade, who singled to start a rally.

Scott Senatore relieved and gave up a jam single to Richie. Jerrod Brown, the Seminoles cleanup hitter, bunted both runners up a base before Senatore intentionally walked Blake Balkcom to load the bases. Fox turned to Whitley Benson (3-2), who promptly came in and got Chris Hart on a popout on the infield and Aaron Cheesman on a slow roller to third that Sammy Hewitt made a fantastic play on.

UNC threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, with Richie ending the second threat by gunning down Chase Younts on a steal attempt, before grabbing the win in the 10th.

"That obviously was a tough one," Seminoles skipper Mike Martin said. "It was a great baseball game. Anybody that was here saw two very good clubs trying to get it done. One club got it done, one didn't."

Peterson did his part for the Seminoles, working eight innings with six hits, two earned runs and nine strikeouts. Rhett James (0-3) suffered the loss, the first in 10 games for FSU.

"I felt really strong," said Peterson, who threw 111 pitches, 80 for strikes. "I felt just as good in the eighth inning as I did in the first."

In addition to being a menace behind the dish, Richie went 3 for 5.