North Carolina tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth inning and scored the winning run on a suicide squeeze in the 12th inning to defeat Virginia, 3-2, in the final of the Atlantic Coast Conference baseball tournament yesterday at Chapel Hill, N.C.
The victory sends UNC into the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association playoffs at a still-to-be-determined date and site.
Barney Spooner led off the 12th for UNC with a walk off reliever Mike Gordon. Spooner stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt and then broke for the plate with two strikes on the batter, Pete Kumiega. Kumiega bunted the ball down the first base line, enabling Spooner to score.
The Tar Heels appeared headed for defeat after being stopped for eight innings by Virginia right-hander Dave Hopkins. But three Virginia errors combined with two UNC hits enabled the Tar Heels to send the game into extra innings.
The victory gives the Tar Heels, who finished the regular season in second place in the ACC standings, a 29-25 record. Virginia finished at 20-21.
At Georgetown, Brian O'Hea and Dwight Madison homered as the Hoyas shut out the University of the District of Columbia, 13-0, in a game that was called after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.