CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina head baseball coach Scott Forbes could only watch on Sunday as his team faced elimination from the Chapel Hill Regional.
“I did have to think, ok, this is going to be a learning experience and I sure hope I don’t have to watch us lose at home,” said Forbes when he was given a two-game suspension after being ejected for arguing a call during Saturday’s 4-3 loss to VCU.
Forbes said he watched Sunday’s games from an “undisclosed location” as his Tar Heels beat Georgia and VCU to reach Monday’s winner-take-all contest against VCU.
Forbes was back in the dugout Monday to see his Tar Heels defeat the Rams 7-3 to reach this weekend’s Super Regional play.
North Carolina will host Arkansas in the best of three series with the winner heading off to the College World Series. First game is Saturday at 11 a.m. at Boshamer Stadium.
“Man, to come out of the loser’s bracket like that is a tell-tale of this team,” gushed Forbes after the Tar Heels won three straight games to reach the Super Regional. “It doesn’t surprise me, nothing surprises me with this group anymore and I’m just thankful for me to be in it with them.”
Instead of hanging their heads having to play two games without their skipper, the Tar Heel players came out more determined than ever to make sure Forbes got another chance to coach his team.
“When he (Forbes) got ejected it kind of fired us up a little bit,” admitted Tar Heels senior pitcher Gage Gillian who got the win in Monday’s game. “When the crowd started chanting ‘Scott Forbes’ that fired us up even more.”
The Tar Heels jumped all over VCU on Monday scoring four runs in the first inning highlighted by a three-run homer from Mikey Madej.
“I’m just super happy for guy’s like me and Gage (both junior college transfers who had to wait their turn for playing time) and the whole team,” said Madej who was voted the regional’s Most Outstanding Player. “Knowing I did it for them makes it so much, so much better.”
The Tar Heels (42-20) advance to the program’s 10th Super Regional and third in the past four seasons.