Posted: 10:46 p.m. Friday, May 17, 2013
By Brian Barbour
North Carolina, amid a bit of a funk as the regular season came to a close, mounted a six run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night to clinch the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1990.
The past couple of weeks have been tough for the Tar Heels with a series loss at Georgia Tech and dropping a 10-4 decision on Thursday in the first game against Virginia. The second game looked to be heading in the same direction with the Cavaliers methodically taking control to stake a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth. After a Michael Russell triple plated Brian Holberton to cut the lead to two, Mike Zolk's two RBI triple would tie the game. Chaz Frank and Landon Lassiter both singled to bring in two more and Colin Moran beat out a double play throw at first to secure the 8-5 lead. Trent Thornton came in to strike out the side and secure UNC's first ACC regular season title in 23 years. UNC's win marked the first time in 37 games that Virginia failed to win with the lead after the 7th inning.
UNC and Virginia face off in the rubber match of the series in a game that technically has little value for the Tar Heels in terms of the ACC standings. That being said, UNC still has NCAA Tournament seeding concerns not to mention the need to build off the momentum the comeback win on Friday has garnered.