Terps Nipped By #4 Tar Heels, 4-3
March 16, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - North Carolina overcame an early deficit with a middle-inning rally and held off a late charge by Maryland for a 4-3 victory Friday evening at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.
The Terps scored three runs off Tar Heel ace Kent Emanuel - the most the 2012 preseason All-America has allowed this season - but North Carolina (15-3, 4-0 ACC) scored four runs between the fourth and sixth innings to take the lead for good.
Maryland (13-5, 0-4 ACC) had a runner within 90 feet of tying it on three occasions - in the fifth, sixth and ninth innings - but was unable to punch in an equalizer.
Emanuel (5-0) went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a season-high eight hits and three runs while striking out seven, and was credited with the win.
Terrapin starter Brady Kirkpatrick (1-2) kept the fourth-ranked Tar Heels scoreless through the first three innings, but allowed four runs - two of them unearned - in taking the loss.
Maryland got to Emanuel early, with shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez leading off the bottom of the first by doubling to left field. Second baseman Kyle Convissar followed with a bloop single to shallow right field, and first baseman Tim Kiene drove in Rodriguez with another single to right. Convissar then scored to make it 2-0 when left fielder Michael Montville grounded into a double play.
But after that, Emanuel held Maryland hitless until the fifth, while the Tar Heels scored a run in the fourth, two in the fifth and another in the sixth to take the lead
In the fourth, North Carolina second baseman Mike Zolk made it 2-1 with a RBI single up the middle that scored first baseman Cody Stubbs, and the Tar Heels took the lead the next inning.
With the bases loaded and one out after two walks and an error, Tar Heel catcher Jacob Stallings singled to left field to score two runs and give UNC a 3-2 lead.
The Terrapins had a chance to tie it in the bottom of the fifth, after right fielder Matt Bosse doubled and catcher Aaron Etchison singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Emanuel, though, got Rodriguez to pop out to second base and induced Convissar into a groundout, ending the threat.
A second Terrapin error aided North Carolina's fourth run. Kirkpatrick issued a one-out walk to right fielder Michael Russell in the sixth, and a batter later Parks Jordan's single through the left side was mishandled by Montville, allowing Russell to score.
In the bottom of the sixth, Montville doubled to right-center field and Hockaday followed with a triple to make it 4-3. But Emanuel retired the next two batters to again escape trouble. Maryland's bullpen, which has been excellent all season, kept the Terrapins close. Charlie Haslup tossed two scoreless innings and Jimmy Reed was spectacular in 1 2/3 innings. Reed came on with one out and two runners on in the eighth and struck out both batters he faced to end the inning. He then pitched a perfect ninth, giving Maryland one more chance.
But with runners on the corners and two outs, North Carolina closer Michael Morin got Rodriguez to ground out to end the game.
Maryland and North Carolina play game two of the three-game series Saturday at 3 p.m. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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