Dream comes true for UNC blue
By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
June 2, 2003
STARKVILLE Sean Farrell's dream came true Sunday afternoon, turning Mississippi State's attempt to win the NCAA Regional at Starkville into a nightmare.
Farrell's two-run homer to left field in the top of the ninth rallied the Tar Heels from a 6-4 deficit. Given a reprieve, North Carolina eventually won the game 8-6 in the 11th with Farrell's single up the middle driving in Chad Prosser from second base with the game-winning run.
Farrell also had a solo homer in the second inning and went 4-for-6 with four RBIs and scored two runs in earning Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament.
North Carolina (42-21) advances to a Super Regional series with South Carolina this weekend. State, which would have had to have beaten the Tar Heels twice Sunday to prolong its season, finished 42-20-1.
State led 6-2 through seven innings. After Farrell's solo homer in the top of the second, MSU went up 2-1 in its half of the frame.
Jeff Butts' single to right field skipped past Jeremy Cleveland with Butts circling the bases when the ball rolled to the fence. Tatum also scored on the play.
UNC tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the fifth when Mike Daniel scored on a passed ball.
State struck for three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Brad Corley had a two-out RBI single and another single by Tatum plated a pair of runs.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tatum's two-out single drove in Matthew Brinson for a 6-2 Bulldog lead.
Wes Moyer's RBI single in the eighth pulled the Tar Heels to within 6-3.
Blair Waggett and Greg Mangum led off the ninth with back-to-back doubles for the Tar Heels, setting the stage for Farrell's game-tying blow off Jonathan Papelbon, who had struck out the two previous batters.
UNC added an insurance run in the 11th when Robby Goodson issued a bases loaded walk.
State got runners to second and third with two outs in the bottom of the 11th. Brinson, who ended the season with only two hits in his final 28 at-bats, grounded out to third base to end the game.