In the top of the fourth, Liberty recorded their first two hits of the game. After a leadoff single, junior Tre Todd launched a homerun off the scoreboard in leftfield to tie the game at two. After the fourth inning, the teams were tied 2-2, but it wouldn't stay that way for long.
The Tar Heels regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a flurry of hits that became eight runs.
A single to left-center by Roberts brought home Kyle Datres to retake the lead. UNC added another two more runs in the inning when sophomore Ashton Mcgee nailed a double off the right field wall. With the bases loaded and only one out, Liberty walked three consecutive batters and sophomore Michael Busch tacked on two more runs with a two out single. By the end of the inning, the Tar Heels held a 10-2 lead.
UNC added seven more runs the rest of the way, including a pair of two-run home runs by Zack Gahagan and Brandon Riley. The lead from the fifth inning was too much to overcome and North Carolina closed the door on Liberty for the 17-2 win.
Who stood out?
Riley played a large role in the win. He drew three walks and hit a single and a two-run home run to finish with three RBIs.
Gahagan also contributed to the offensive explosion. He had two hits, including a two-run home run, and added a walk. He had two RBIs as did Busch and McGee.
Batting may have been the most notable part of UNC’s victory, but the starting pitching was just as important to the win. Tyler Baum held Liberty to just two runs through six innings of work, struck out seven and allowed only three hits to improve to 2-0 through three starts.
When was it decided?
After a tight 2-2 game through four innings, the Tar Heels took control in the bottom of the fifth inning. UNC batted around the order, sending 13 batters to the plate in the inning and had an eight run lead by the end of the inning — and it would only grow from there.
Why does it matter?
Friday’s victory marked the Tar Heels second straight victory after losing four games last week. The 17 run explosion was a season-high for UNC, topping the 10 run performance earlier in the week.
North Carolina has now scored 27 runs in its past two games, an improvement after only scoring six runs in three games against ECU last weekend.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels took the first game of a three-game weekend series against Liberty on Friday night and they will be back in action on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.