UNC had the bases loaded with two outs in top of the fourth after an infield single by redshirt sophomore Dallas Tessar was followed by two walks. The Tar Heels couldn’t capitalize on this opportunity, however, as Zack Gahagan grounded out to end the inning. ECU couldn’t muster up any offense in the bottom of the inning. After a foul out and a groundout, Baum got junior Dwanya Williams-Sutton to strike out swinging.
In the fifth, the Tar Heels’ first two batters got on base, but a fielder's choice and a runner caught stealing left UNC with a man on second and two outs. Sophomore Ike Freeman drew a walk to put runners on first and second, but Dallas Tessar popped out for the final out.
Tyler Baum kicked off the bottom of the fifth with his seventh strikeout of the game, but it was quickly forgotten as ECU junior Brady Lloyd doubled to right center. The next batter, ECU junior Turner Brown, hit a single to right center that brought home Lloyd, cutting their deficit to 3-1. With two outs, sophomore Austin Bergner rcame in for Baum. However, on his first pitch, Bergner gave up a three-run homerun to Spencer Brickhouse to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.
After surrendering four runs in the fifth inning, North Carolina quickly responded. Kyle Datres launched the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall, tying the score at four. Bergner opened the bottom half of the inning with a four pitch walk, but a strikeout and a double play shut the door on the Pirates.
Martorano led off the seventh inning with double off the left field wall. A bunt single by Enwiller put runners on first and third with no outs. Ike Freeman grounded into a double play, but Martorano scored on the play, giving the Tar Heels a 5-4 lead.
After ECU loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth with only one out, UNC turned a double play to escape the inning with its lead still intact.
In the bottom of the ninth with one out, ECU had runners on first and second, but the Tar Heels turned a 4-6-3 double play to end the game. UNC won 5-4.
Who stood out?
Datres and Busch led the Tar Heels on Saturday. Datres had a double and a homerun along with two walks. Datres’ home run tied the game in the sixth inning, giving UNC the chance to later take the lead. Busch had two singles and two walks on the night, and he hit his 11th and 12ths RBIs of the season.
Tyler Baum pitched a strong game for North Carolina. He logged 4.2 innings while striking out eight batters and allowing three earned runs. However, two of them came on a three-run homerun allowed by Austin Bergner.
UNC closer Josh Hiatt finished off the win for the Tar Heels. He pitched North Carolina out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth with a double play. Ironically, he also ended the ninth inning the same way — with two runners on base, he got the hitter to ground into a game ending double play.
When was it decided?
The game was in doubt until the last out was recorded. UNC held a 3-0 lead early in the game, but a four run inning by the Pirates switched the score in favor of ECU. UNC would score the next two runs to take a 5-4 lead, but things were far from over. In the last two innings, ECU had multiple men in scoring position, but Hiatt closed the door to secure the victory.
Why does it matter?
Saturday’s victory ended the Tar Heels’ three game skid, including a 2-1 loss against ECU on Friday night. UNC scored over four runs for the first time since their 9-8 win over USF last weekend. North Carolina now has the opportunity to win the series against ECU on Sunday and even its record to .500.
When do they play next?
UNC will next take action on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. as they host ECU in Boshamer Stadium.