May 11, 2008

Around the Bases

CBI Live
Wooten, Tar Heels top Cavaliers for second straight day


By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – It looked a lot like the formula for Friday’s win for North Carolina. Fall behind by one after two innings, score in the middle innings and keep Virginia off the board over the final innings.


The Tar Heels (20-5, 42-8) scored one in the third, two in the fourth and two in the fifth to post a 5-2 victory over the Cavaliers (13-13, 33-17) Saturday evening at Davenport Field to clinch the ACC series.


Senior right-hander Rob Wooten (left) was outstanding in relief for UNC. After pitching the ninth on Friday, he entered with runners on second and third and one down in the fifth. He proceeded to record a pair of strikeouts to keep the Cavs off the scoreboard. Wooten (4-1) worked the final 4.2 innings, his longest career outing, did not allow a run and did not give up a hit until the ninth, a pinch-hit single by Patrick Wingfield. He walked one and struck out a career-high seven.


“Rob Wooten was sensational for us out of the bullpen,” said UNC head coach Mike Fox, “and we needed it because we weren’t doing anything offensively. That was a one or two-inning deal since he threw yesterday and we were a little nervous there extending him like we did. We usually try to bring Rob in when we think there’s a big part of the game, when we’re trying to prevent the big inning. They had second and third with one out, two righties coming up, the perfect time to use him. But he looked so good and looked so fresh after throwing 27 pitches yesterday we stayed with him. Every inning we’re like ‘We need to get him out, we need to get him out.’ But he wasn’t coming out.”


Wooten didn’t want to come out.


“After the sixth,” Wooten said, “when I knew I was going out for the seventh, I pretty much had a good idea I was going to finish this game because I threw a lot of pitches last night, I threw a lot tonight and there’s probably no shot of me throwing tomorrow, so I asked to finish this game.”


Kyle Seager and Kyle Shelton were the hitting stars for UNC. Seager doubled and scored in the fourth and added an RBI triple and scored in the fifth. Shelton hit a long home run over the bleachers in left with two outs in the top of the third to knot the score at 1-1. He also walked in the fifth and tripled in the ninth.


Virginia started the scoring in the second as Jeremy Farrell ripped a leadoff triple to right center and came home on a base hit by Phil Gosselin.


UNC took the lead in the fourth. Chad Flack was hit with the first pitch of the inning and moved to third on a double to right by Seager. Consecutive sacrifice flies by Tim Federowicz and Garrett Gore gave the Heels a 3-1 advantage.


The Cavs responded in the bottom of the fourth as Franco Valdes had a one-out double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Jarrett Parker to make it 3-2.


The Tar Heels scored again in the fifth. Shelton drew a leadoff walk and with one out, the Cavs were not able to turn a double play on a grounder by Chad Flack. Seager made them pay with a triple into the right field corner to bring home Flack and chase Virginia starter Pat McAnaney (4-3). Reliever Matt Packer surrendered a single to Tim Federowicz to bring home Seager to make it 5-2.


“I like the way we responded both times,” Fox said, “when we got down 1-0 and came right back. Look up on the board. Every time they scored we came back in the top half and got something. I thought the two base hits we got off of Packer right when he came in the game to extend our lead obviously was critical and certainly even more so now the way he got in rhythm and just mowed us down toward the end of the game.”


Packer did a nice job out of the pen for the Cavs, going four innings with three hits, no runs, one walk and three strikeouts.


McAnaney went just 4.2 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He allowed six hits and five earned runs with five strikeouts and three walks, the most free passes this season and matching his career high.


The third and final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.