The No. 10 North Carolina baseball team defeated the Miami Hurricanes, 6-3 on Saturday at Boshamer Stadium. The win is the fourth in a row for the Tar Heels (18-5, 6-2 ACC), who got home runs from Brandon Riley and Cody Roberts in their victory.
First-year phenom Gianluca Dalatri got the start for North Carolina. Miami’s James Davison took advantage of the righty early with a single, but Dalatri stranded Davison on third to keep the Hurricanes (10-13, 3-5 ACC) scoreless in the first.
In the second inning, Dalatri stranded another Hurricane on third. That set the stage for sophomore outfielder Riley, who cracked the ball over the right-field wall and through a pine tree for a two-run home run.
UNC energized Boshamer Stadium’s crowd with a 5-4-3-2 double play that kept Miami off the scoreboard yet again in the top of the third. The score was still stuck at 2-0, however. Brian Miller changed that in the bottom of the fourth.
With two teammates on base, Miller hit a deep one to right field. Unlike Riley’s ball, this one stayed inside the park — but it still brought two Tar Heels home. North Carolina had doubled its lead.
Junior righty Brett Daniels replaced Dalatri, who allowed nine hits, in the fifth inning. Miami, which had already scored its first run in the fifth, promptly added two more to narrow its deficit to one.
North Carolina brought its lead back to three with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, including a solo home run from sophomore catcher Roberts.
Roberts’ home run was his first this year, and it was the last score of the game. Redshirt first-year Josh Hiatt subbed in to finish the game off. He walked his first batter, but rebounded by striking out the next. A double play by UNC on the next at-bat ended the inning and the game.
Who stood out?
Daniels, who is now 2-0 on the year, played well in relief of Dalatri. He allowed just one hit in 3.1 innings pitched. Hiatt garnered yet another save — he now has nine on the year.
Miller and Riley tied for the team lead with two RBIs apiece. And junior shortstop Logan Warmoth continued his streak, reaching base for the 38th consecutive game.
When was it decided?
Miami rattled off three runs in the top of the fifth inning and had plenty of momentum. After a scoreless bottom of the inning, UNC’s offense woke up in the sixth with Roberts’ solo home run.
First-year second baseman Ike Freeman promptly reached first base on a fielding error. Three at-bats later, another fielding error allowed Freeman to reach home.
He clapped his hands in enthusiasm as he walked across the plate. UNC’s lead was now 6-3, and it wouldn’t relinquish it.
Why does it matter?
Miami’s 10 hits matched a season high for a North Carolina opponent. The Tar Heels had six less hits, but half of them were home runs.
Miami swept UNC last season in Coral Gables, Fla. Today’s game was definitely tighter than yesterday’s 7-2 win, but the Tar Heels still find themselves up 2-0 in the series. They can return the favor and sweep the Hurricanes with a win tomorrow.
Where do they play next?
UNC and Miami will play the last game of their series tomorrow at noon.
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