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The Daily Tar Heel

Baseball: Pitch perfect

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North Carolina junior Alex White pitched a one-hitter Friday to lead UNC past Miami" facing only one batter more than the minimum and striking out 10. It was the first one-hitter by a Tar Heel since 1994.

North Carolina knew it had missed some opportunities this season. The Tar Heels weren't about to let it happen again.

After taking the first two games against Miami No. 4 UNC clamped down and earned its first three-game series sweep in the ACC this season" with a 4-1 victory in the Sunday finale.

""We've let a couple slip away from us on the road" and we felt like it was a way for us to maybe get one of those back" UNC coach Mike Fox said.

You don't really count on sweeps in this league. It's a way to sneak back a game and get ahead in your division.""

After a couple tough losses in series against Georgia Tech and Florida State" UNC (31-10 13-7 ACC) finally capitalized on three top-notch outings by the weekend starters.

In the 28 innings played this weekend (including 10 Saturday) UNC only surrendered a run in three of them.

First there was an absolute gem by junior Alex White. He pitched a complete game one-hitter to shut out the No. 9 Hurricanes (26-13" 11-10 ACC). White struck out 10 in the contest and faced just one batter more than the minimum.

""Every time I put up a zero on the scoreboard" I go back in the dugout and just concentrate on putting the next one up White said. When you can put up nine" it's been a good night.""

After giving up three runs in the first inning Saturday"" senior Adam Warren buckled down and tossed five more scoreless frames.

Then sophomore Matt Harvey finished it off by allowing one run in seven strong innings Sunday.

""Our much-maligned pitching staff maybe got a little boost" because we really pitched well this weekend" Fox said.

Though UNC's bats didn't light up the scoreboard, the hits came at the right times. No one was more timely than catcher Mark Fleury, who brought home the game-winning run with a walk-off single in the 10th inning Saturday.

I looked at coach Fox" and I said ‘Let me win this. Let me win this"'"" Fleury said. ""I like being in moments like this" I like having the spotlight" and I like driving in game-winning runs.""

Fleury also scored the tying run after hustling around the basepaths on his second career triple.

Dustin Ackley notched his 13th career game with at least four hits" with a 4-for-4 line Sunday. Ryan Graepel also added his second career home run" a solo shot to left-center.

""We think we've got a pretty full" complete team" said third baseman Kyle Seager, who added six hits in the series.

So anytime our pitching throws the ball like they've been throwing" our offense just needs to be good enough to bring across a few runs" and they'll take care of it.""

UNC has now won four straight series against Miami" including nine of the last 10 games. They also became the first ACC team to reach 30 wins this season.

And with the sweep" they came away from a weekend feeling like they made a statement.

""Coming into the game" we knew we had a lot on the line Seager said. Any time you can sweep especially a team as good as they are" that's great.""



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.


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