Game 2 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional on Sunday started off much like Game 1 did.
The North Carolina baseball team jumped out again to an early lead against Auburn, bolstered by the 1-2 combo of junior Michael Busch and first-year Aaron Sabato. The Tar Heels again limited the Tigers in the game's early stages, thanks mostly to a stellar performance on the mound from a junior right-handed pitcher.
The ending of Game 2 was different, though. This time, there would be no late collapse, and the early UNC runs would prove enough. This time, with their backs against the wall, the Tar Heels held on for a 2-0 win, doing just enough at the plate and on the mound to even the series and force a decisive Game 3 on Monday.
The only two runs of the day came in the first frame, when the bat of Busch and the eye of Sabato put them both on base. When they advanced to third and second, respectively, on a balk, it was junior Ike Freeman who brought them home with a single to left center.
"Those were huge," Freeman said. "We definitely needed that. But we talk all the time, we don't rely on the offense. Pitching and defense wins game. We put pressure on them – we also left a lot of guys on base – but our pitchers picked us up."