Terps Walk-Off On Kolarek's 10th Inning Homer
April 2, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Adam Kolarek hit a solo home run over the right-center field wall with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting Maryland to a 6-5 win over No. 22 North Carolina Friday night.
The junior, who was a defensive replacement when first baseman Dan Gentzler moved to the mound in the ninth inning, crushed an off-speed pitch on a 0-1 count, giving the Terps their second win over a ranked opponent this season.
With two outs in the inning and at the plate for the first time in the game, Kolarek got a first-pitch fastball from North Carolina reliever Colin Bates that he smashed down the right field line. The ball had the distance to leave the park, but went just foul.
Kolarek, a lefty who also serves as a starting pitcher, was looking for something off-speed on the ensuing 0-1 count and got a curveball that he turned on and sent over the wall.
Maryland picked up its third straight win, improving to 12-15 overall and 3-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, while North Carolina fell to 18-10 and 2-8 in conference play.
The Terps have used a measure of small-ball most of the season to manufacture runs, but beat the Tar Heels thanks to two home runs.
Dan Gentzler (1-0) didn't allow a batter to reach base while pitching the ninth and tenth innings and earned his first win of the season.
Bates (3-2), who struck out the first two batters he faced in the tenth, took the loss for the Tar Heels.
The game, which ended more than four hours after it started in part due to a 22-minute delay when the stadium lights went out, was close all the way.
North Carolina scored three early runs off Terps starter Sander Beck, but Ian Schwalenberg came through with a second-straight stellar relief performance to keep the game within reach. Schwalenberg relieved Beck in the third inning with one out and the bases loaded and escaped trouble by striking out North Carolina's Tommy Coyle and getting Seth Baldwin to ground out to second base. Schwalenberg pitched 3 1/3, surrendering just three hits without allowing a run.
The Terps scored a run in the fifth and one more in the seventh on an RBI single from Alfredo Rodriguez, and entered the eighth inning trailing by just one. The Tar Heels scored a run in the eighth to go ahead 5-3, setting the stage for Marquis, and eventually, Kolarek.
Maryland and North Carolina square off in game two of the three-game set Saturday at 1 p.m.
Notes: Maryland's lead-off man reached in every inning from the third to the eighth ... Jon Wilson made a diving catch in right field with two outs and two runners on base in the seventh to keep Maryland within two runs ... Brandon Padula had his 15th multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-4 performance ... Matt Marquis and Alfredo Rodriguez also had two-hit games.