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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 7 UNC baseball continues 22-game home win streak with victory over N.C. A&T

Ashton McGee Xavier
Junior second baseman Ashton McGee (5) swings sharp and fast at the ball during UNC's 12-3 win against Xavier on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.

The No. 7 North Carolina baseball team defeated North Carolina A&T, 2-1, on Tuesday afternoon. The victory moved the Tar Heels up to 22 straight home wins — extending the longest winning streak in the country. 

What happened?

North Carolina (4-0) began the game with first-year Josh Dotson at starting pitcher — who did not give up a run until the top of the fourth inning. With the game scoreless at that point, N.C. A&T (3-1) redshirt senior AJ Hunt hit a single to center field that sent Brandon Melendez across home plate from second for the Aggies' 1-0 lead. 

Following the Aggies run, the Tar Heels switched Dotson out for sophomore Caden O’Brien on the mound. O’Brien pitched 3.2 scoreless innings — a performance that largely kept the Aggie offense at bay the rest of the day. 

In the bottom of the seventh inning, UNC scored its first two runs of the game after a double by junior Ashton McGee. At the top of the ninth inning, redshirt first-year Austin Love came in and closed the door for the save — pitching a scoreless final inning to secure the fourth win of the season for UNC. 

Who stood out?

McGee stood out because his seventh inning hit to right field scored two for UNC, which was enough to win the game. The No. 9 hitter's swing gave the Tar Heels their only scoring play of the day.

North Carolina head coach Mike Fox said McGee saw the ball well and came through in the clutch for his team.

“He went up there with the bases loaded looking to do some damage the first pitch and got a good one," Fox said, "so he was ready and that was obviously one of the hardest balls we hit, and we needed it."

When was it decided?

The bottom of the seventh inning proved to be the deciding factor in the win over the Aggies. With the bases loaded and McGee up to bat, the junior launched a powerful double for two RBIs. 

Why does it matter?

This win matters because it continues North Carolina’s four game winning streak this season and its 22 home game winning streak, which began on March 30, 2018. The game was also an early season opportunity for younger players to get some shine, as evidence by first-year Dotson starting on the mound.

When do they play next?

UNC plays against South Florida on Friday at 3 p.m. in Chapel Hill. The game previously scheduled for Wednesday against VCU has been postponed to 3 p.m. on Feb. 27.

@markburnett1234

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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