UNC took control of the game from the start.
Austin Bergner pitched a scoreless top of the first inning to open up the game. In the first at-bat in the bottom half of the inning, junior transfer Dylan Harrisknocked the ball over the right field wall with a full count — his first ever home run at UNC — to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
Xavier bounced back in the top of the second to tie the game, 1-1. But that could not quiet the North Carolina offense.
In the bottom of that inning, the Tar Heels took a 3-1 lead. Then, with two outs in the third, Martorano hit a two-run 404-foot home run right off the center of the scoreboard. That was Martorano’s first home run of the season, giving his team a commanding 5-1 lead.
"He threw me the same pitch that he threw me the first pitch, and I took it for a strike," Martorano said. "I was anticipating that he'd come back with it, and he did. I was able to put a good swing on it."
Through the first three games of the season, North Carolina has hit five home runs, including two on Sunday afternoon. To start off a solid offensive showing in the first weekend of the season, North Carolina's hitters were patient at the plate.
The Tar Heels walked six times and only struck out twice heading into that crazy sixth inning. Through the first series, two thirds of UNC's starting hitters are hitting better than .300.
“The biggest key for us offensively I think is probably our walks to strike outs," head coach Mike Fox said. "This weekend was really good. I think we did not strike out 10 times the whole weekend. Of course, we walked a lot."
UNC struck out 12 times this weekend. The Tar Heels drew 31 walks and were hit by pitch five times throughout the weekend. Along the way, North Carolina scored at least eight runs in each game. The last time a North Carolina squad did that in a series was in 2006 against Seton Hall.
The sixth inning might have one of the difference makers in this game, but North Carolina's offensive power all weekend left a lasting impact.
With this series win under their belt, the Tar Heels won their 21st consecutive game at Boshamer Stadium and look forward to their mid-week contests against North Carolina A&T and VCU.
“That winning streak is a culmination of us having a lot of pride and playing in front of our fans,” Martorano said. “In terms of winning all three games, it’s huge to start the season. 3-0 is massive. Every single win counts, and every single game matters. 3-0 puts us on the right foot, but this weekend is over now it’s moving on to A&T on Tuesday.”
@DTHSports | email@example.com