April 5, 2009

Courtesy of North Carolina

ATLANTA * Dustin Ackley homered twice and drove in four runs for the second time this week, and Kyle Seager equaled a school record with four doubles to lead No. 5 North Carolina past No. 3 Georgia Tech, 13-10, in the series finale Sunday at Russ Chandler Stadium. With the win, the Tar Heels (24-7, 9-5 ACC) secured their first series victory in Atlanta since 1998.

Carolina*s two All-America position players, who were a combined
2-for-15 in the series entering Sunday, teamed up for seven hits, five runs and five RBI in the finale. Seager and Ben Bunting, who drove in two runs, each matched career highs with four hits.

Ackley, who also drove in four runs and homered twice Tuesday against Davidson, finished 3-for-5 with home runs No. 9 and 10 for the season, four RBI and three runs scored. The Walnut Cove, N.C., product now owns five career multi-homer games, including three this season.

Seager, who went 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, became the fourth Tar Heel with four doubles in a game and the first since Jarrett Shearin in 1998.

Left-hander Brian Moran (3-1) allowed two hits and struck out one in an inning of relief to pick up the win. Bryant Gaines allowed two runs on four hits over the final three innings to earn his first save. The Tar Heel bullpen allowed three runs over the final four innings.

Tony Plagman went 4-for-6, and Luke Murton was 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead the Yellow Jackets (19-6, 9-4 ACC). Jason Haniger added three hits, including a two-run home run.

Tech batted around and struck for three in the first against UNC starter Matt Harvey, who allowed career highs of seven runs on nine hits over four-plus innings. Plagman put the Jackets on the board with an RBI double down the left field line, Matt Skole singled home a run and Jason Garofalo drew a bases-loaded walk to close the scoring. Harvey struck out the side and fanned two with the bases loaded to limit the damage.

Carolina responded and then some in the top of the second with a single-inning season-high of eight runs on six hits and three Tech errors. Seager started things off with the first of two doubles in the frame. After Mark Fleury reached on the first error, Graepel singled to right field, and Murton misplayed the base hit, allowing the ball to roll to the wall to let both runners cross the plate.

Following a walk to Tarron Robinson, Bunting singled to left center to tie the score at three, and Garrett Gore singled to left to give UNC its first lead of the afternoon. Ackley then delivered the big blow of the inning with a three-run opposite field homer to left * his ninth * on a 1-2 pitch from Tech starter Kevin Jacob (4-2), who allowed eight runs (six earned) on seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings.

Seager closed the scoring when he doubled off Jacob for the second time in the inning, reached third on error No. 2 by Murton and scored when Fleury stuck out but reached on a wild pitch for an 8-3 UNC lead.

After Murton got one back for the Jackets with an RBI single in the bottom of the second, Mike Cavasinni tripled to right and scored on Bunting*s RBI second single up the middle to give the Tar Heels a five-run cushion once again.

Ackley and Levi Michael pulled off a two-out double steal in the fourth, and Graepel*s second single of the afternoon * a chopper through the right side * scored both runners to stretch the lead to 11-4.

Tech clawed back within four with three runs in the fifth * all charged to Harvey, who allowed three straight singles to open the bottom of the frame. After Garafalo singled to score the first run and end the day for Harvey, Moran worked his way out of the inning but not before Jeff Rowland delivered a sacrifice fly and Derek Dietrich doubled home a run to cut the score to 11-7.

Ackley*s second homer of the afternoon quickly got one back for the Tar Heels when he roped a 2-0 pitch from Patrick Long halfway up the scoreboard in left center to lead off the sixth. After Seager*s third double, Murton made a diving catch to save a run and then delivered an RBI double in the Tech half of the sixth to cut the lead to four once again at 12-8.

Tech went on to load the bases against Patrick Johnson in the sixth, but Nate Striz entered to induce a pop up and a groundout to strand all three runners and preserve the four-run cushion.

Seager*s record-tying fourth double extended the lead to 13-8 in the eighth. After Michael drew his second walk of the day, Seager ripped a Zach Brewster offering into the left field corner to drive in his first run of the day.

Haniger made things interesting in the ninth with a two-run home run to center off Gaines, but he got the final two batters to ground out to shortstop to close the win.

The Tar Heels are back in action at Boshamer Stadium Tuesday against East Carolina at 6 p.m. A webcast of the game will be available live and on-demand via ACC Select.