Robert Woodard improved to 3-1 with his second career complete game Saturday.
April 1, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - After back-to-back, two-out Florida State errors kept the ninth inning alive, North Carolina shortstop Josh Horton drove in the game-winning run with a single down the left field line to lift the No. 6 Tar Heels (23-5, 7-4 ACC) to an improbable 4-3 win over No. 1 Florida State (26-4, 8-3 ACC) Saturday at Boshamer Stadium. Right-hander Robert Woodard picked up the victory with a complete-game seven hitter.
With Carolina down to its final out in the ninth, designated hitter Benji Johnson legged out an infield single to give the Tar Heels life. After center fielder Mike Cavasinni reached on a fielding error by FSU shortstop Buster Posey, pinch hitter Seth Williams sent a high pop up toward the mound. Seminole second baseman Tony Thomas, Jr. let the ball drop, allowing pinch runner Matt McNichol to score from second and tie the game.
FSU lifted starter Tyler Chambliss in favor of closer Luke Tucker, who walked third baseman Reid Fronk to load the bases. Horton then placed the game-winning single in front of diving Seminole left fielder Mark Gildea to score Cavasinni with the game-winning run.
Coupled with Friday's 4-0 shutout, Saturday's win gives Carolina its third straight series victory over FSU in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels are now 7-1 against the Noles in their last eight meetings at Boshamer Stadium, and they will go for their first sweep of Florida State since 2002 Sunday.
In just his second career complete game, Woodard (3-1) allowed just seven hits and two walks to pick up his first win since Feb. 24. He struck out a season-high five batters and only faced more than four batters in an inning twice, the second and seventh innings. The Charlotte Myers Park product is now 19-3 in his career and has struck out 17 over his last 21.2 innings against the Noles.
Horton was 2-for-5 with two runs scored to extend his current hitting streak to 11 games. In addition to his game-winning single in the ninth, he doubled and scored in the first. Left fielder Jay Cox also tacked on two hits and is now 4-for-6 in the series.
Chambliss (7-1) was the tough-luck loser for FSU after allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks over 8.2 innings. Chambliss and Friday starter Bryan Henry entered the weekend with a combined 14-0 record but have suffered back-to-back losses to the Tar Heels.
Horton gave UNC a brief 1-0 lead in the first after roping a one-out double down the left field line and later scoring on a throwing error by FSU catcher Danny Diaz. First baseman Chad Flack followed Horton's hit with a single and swiped second, but Diaz's throw to second was high, allowing Horton to score from third.
Diaz atoned for his error in the second with a run-scoring single to give the Seminoles their first lead of the series. Third baseman Ryne Malone doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly to center from Gildea, tying the game at one. Diaz followed with a single through the left side to drive in Thomas, Jr., who was hit by a pitch. Fronk made a diving catch on a liner by Robinson to end the inning and save at least one run.
Florida State's one-run lead held until the sixth, when the Tar Heels knotted the score at two. After a leadoff single by Fronk, Horton reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a bases-loaded single through the left side by catcher Tim Federowicz. Chambliss then got right fielder Matt Spencer and catcher Benji Johnson to strike out looking to leave the bases loaded.
The Noles broke the tie in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Robinson. Right fielder Ryan Strauss reached on an infield single as Horton made a backhanded stop deep in the hole at short but could not come up with the ball. After moving to second on a sac bunt, Strauss scored to give FSU a 3-2 lead as Robinson laced a single just out of Horton's reach into left center.
Woodard bounced back to set down eight of the final nine batters he faced to set up the Tar Heels' walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth. Carolina suffered three walk-off losses to FSU last season.
The Tar Heels will send righty Daniel Bard to the mound at 1 p.m. Sunday in the 1,000th game at Boshamer Stadium. An audio broadcast of the game will be available on AM-1360 in Chapel Hill and at TarHeelBlue.com.