Though Virginia only outhit North Carolina 9-7, the Cavaliers turned their hits into runs while North Carolina left men on base. When North Carolina left two stranded in the second, Virginia capitalized and got out to an early lead that they would never relinquish.
In the top of the second inning, thanks to a pair of singles from Freeman and Clemente Inclan, North Carolina had two on and only one out — setting up prime opportunity for the Tar Heels to drive in at least one run and get the offense going. But on the next at bat, Brandon Martorano grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The rest of the game went the same way for the Tar Heels, as they left two on again in the sixth inning — this time, with the runners on second and third. Virginia’s pitching staff was able to close the game out for the Cavaliers, as Andrew Abbott allowed no hits in the last three innings.
Game 2: UNC 8, Virginia 6
Saturday was a different story for the Tar Heels offensively.
North Carolina looked dominant early as it raced out to an early lead it would struggle to maintain.
In the third, UNC was able to get it done both with the long ball and with small ball. Tessar got a home run in the first at-bat of the inning. Later, Freeman drove in Busch on a single up the middle and Brandon Riley scored on a sacrifice bunt from Cody Roberts to put UNC up 5-1. Austin Bergner started on the mound for the Tar Heels and gave up five hits in seven innings of work.
But Virginia didn’t go down without a fight. Two runs from the Cavaliers in the sixth made the score 5-3, and Virginia tied it at 6-6 with three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
In the final inning, though, North Carolina was able to stem the tide of Virginia’s momentum and put two runs on the board in the top of the ninth to come away with a win, 8-6.
Game 3: UNC 12, Virginia 6
North Carolina picked up right where it left off in the second half of the double header.
A Busch home run in the second at-bat set the tone for both the first inning and the game. The Tar Heels scored four in the first and never slowed down.
Almost everyone in the lineup got a piece of the action. Eight Tar Heels recorded a hit and seven drove in a run.
UNC entered the ninth with an 8-5 lead, but the game was not quite put away. Riley changed that.
With two outs and the bases loaded, he tripled to right field and drove in three runs. The timely hit was Riley’s second of the day, but it gave the Tar Heels the 12-6 win in the game and secured the series.
The series win has UNC at second in the ACC Coastal Division. The Tar Heels are 12-6 in conference play and are behind only Duke, who is 12-5.
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