Around the Bases
Wooten, Tar Heels top
Cavaliers for second straight day
By Phil Stanton
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.
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
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
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.