The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday June 5th

Eight-run seventh inning lifts UNC to 11-6 win over Winthrop

When Eli Sutherland led off the bottom of the seventh inning for the No. 11 North Carolina baseball team Wednesday afternoon, the Winthrop Eagles led the Tar Heels 5-3. 

By the time Sutherland found himself back at the plate inside Boshamer Stadium, his team had amassed a commanding 9-5 lead, and it was still the bottom of the seventh inning. 

UNC ultimately totaled eight runs in that decisive frame which proved too much for the Eagles to overcome as the Tar Heels cruised to an 11-6 victory.  

In the lead off at-bat, Sutherland, one of only two seniors on a young Tar Heels' (6-1) squad, smashed the second pitch he saw over the left-field fence, giving the infielder from Kingsport, Tenn., his first career home run.  

What followed was a series of five Tar Heel hits and three costly Winthrop (5-4) errors that pushed UNC ahead, with the biggest play in the sequence happening with the bases loaded and left fielder Tyler Lynn at the plate. 

Lynn poked one right back to the mound, and the Eagle pitcher shoveled the ball to catcher Roger Gonzalez to get the force out at home. Gonzalez proceeded to try and throw to first base to secure a double play, but his throw sailed over the first basemen’s mitt and into right field, allowing Tyler Ramirez and Kyle Datres both to score to give UNC a 6-5 lead they would never relinquish. 


“It was nice to get a big inning, but most of it was a gift. We feel very fortunate.” — Coach Mike Fox on the errors Winthrop committed that led to the seventh-inning explosion.


Normal starting shortstop Logan Warmoth, who started every game last season, did not play today due to a “violation of team rules”, giving Sutherland an opportunity to start at the position, which he took advantage of.

Three numbers that matter

4: The number of hits third baseman Zach Gahagan managed in four at-bats. That is a good sign for the Tar Heels, as Fox mentioned him as a player who needs to swing the bat well for his team to be as competitive as they want to be. 

367: The attendance at the ballpark was sparse due to it being an afternoon midweek game. Gahagan mentioned that it was a bit more difficult to “get up” for the game with so few people in the stands.  

7: The number of pitchers the Tar Heels used on the afternoon. Fox mentioned that he certainly did not want to use seven pitchers, and that it will affect the way he manages his club this weekend. 

What’s next? 

The Tar Heels take on Fairfield at 3 p.m. on Friday in the first game of a three-game series. 


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