Despite Hoffman being in scoring position, UNC's Rodney Hutchison Jr. came into relief for starting pitcher Gianluca Dalatri and stopped the bleeding to close out the fourth inning. North Carolina trailed 3-0.
The Bulls padded their lead in the fifth inning when junior David Villar scored on a fielder’s choice from Dietrich.
When sophomore Michael Busch launched a three-run home run to right-center field in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 4-3, it looked like the Tar Heels were mounting a comeback. But the rally was snuffed out when South Florida junior Andrew Perez shut out the Tar Heels in the final 1.2 innings to record his first save of the season and secure the victory.
In the Friday game, Busch and Zack Gahagan led the Tar Heels from the dish with two hits each.
North Carolina avenged its opening day loss on Saturday, defeating USF, 12-5, to even the series.
The Tar Heels had a monster first inning — recording six runs on four hits. The team kicked off the inning with a walk from lead-off batter Brandon Riley, then followed with three straight singles for a 2-0 lead. Junior catcher Cody Roberts’ sacrifice fly extended North Carolina’s lead to 3-0, and sophomore Brandon Martorano nailed a three-run home run to give the Tar Heels a 6-0 lead.
USF responded in the bottom half of the inning with an RBI single by Joe Genord to cut the deficit to five.
Over the next four innings, UNC added five more runs to extend the lead to 11-1, until USF ended its scoring drought with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
After one more Tar Heel run in the sixth inning, South Florida attempted a late inning rally, but fell short, losing 12-5.
Tyler Baum, who pitched 5.1 innings while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts, earned the win for North Carolina. In addition, Gahagan added four hits and three RBIs, and Kyle Datres added three hits in the victory.
The Tar Heels sealed the series win on Sunday in a nail-biting 9-8 victory.
UNC jumped ahead in the second inning with a solo home run from Roberts and tacked on another run in the third inning on an RBI single from Datres to lead 2-0.
After the Bulls scored a run in the fourth inning, Martorano hit a solo home run in the fifth. The Tar Heels tacked on five more runs over the sixth and the seventh innings to reach an 8-1 lead over USF. Despite a massive scoring margin, the lead was not safe.
South Florida had a massive seventh inning and tied the game with seven runs, facing four pitchers before the inning was over. Sophomore pitcher Austin Bergner kept it scoreless the next two innings, which sent the game into extra innings.
The game was ultimately won in the top of the 10th inning with a lead-off solo home run from Ike Freeman. To close out the game, Bergner mowed down USF in the bottom of the inning, which sealed a Tar Heel victory in a 2-1 first weekend.
North Carolina will take action next against UNCW in its home opener Tuesday at 3 p.m.
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