It would be another two innings before the Tar Heels scored again, this time on a two-run homer on the fourth pitch, his sixth home run of the year. That home run gave North Carolina its 72nd of the year, tied for second in team history with the 2007 team. The team would eventually end with 75 home runs on the season at the end of the game
The yard-ball also sent home Ike Freeman who had the lead-off walk to start the inning. Freeman has played in all 61 games in 2019, and is third on the team in RBI’s with 48. Liberty was placed in scoring position after Austin Love opened the bottom of the sixth with two walks, but induced three ground balls in a row to close out the inning.
North Carolina piled on the runs in the seventh inning, with back-to-back home runs by Michael Busch — also sending Dallas Tessar to home plate — and Aaron Sabato. Both players are tied for first on the team with 16 home runs a piece, and Sabato set the first-year record for home runs in a season by a North Carolina player.
Brandon Martorano would hit a three run home run before the end of the inning for good measure, putting North Carolina up 10-0. That home run was North Carolina’s fifth of the game, the second most all season.
The eighth inning saw UNC score four more runs from hits by Freeman, McGee and Enwiller. It was Freeman’s sixth straight game driving in a run, during which he was 9-18 from the plate with nine RBIs. There was two more runs in the ninth for UNC, putting the Tar Heels up a staggering 16-0, and three outs and one run for Liberty later the game was over.
Who stood out?
Ashton McGee led the team in RBIs with four in the game. After making the error in the game against Wilmington that allowed the Seahawks to tie the game, the junior second baseman started off the scoring for what would be a dominant game for North Carolina.
Behind the onslaught of home runs was a UNC bullpen that allowed just five hits the entire game. No pitcher threw for more than 3.0 innings, a high met by Austin Love. Josh Dotson appeared in just his 24th game of the season,
When was it decided?
North Carolina took hold of the lead in the first inning, and never looked back. The Tar Heel bullpen gave a strong, well rounded performance, while the Tar Heels scored consistently throughout the entire game. It was Sabato’s solo home run that put the icing on the cake, and put UNC up 7-0 on Liberty in the seventh inning to fully put the game away. From there, it was a matter of finishing out, to go along with nine more runs before the game was over, for North Carolina to walk away with a victory.
Why does it matter?
After Friday’s down to the wire victory that took a nearly seven hours to complete after it’s 2 p.m. start time, North Carolina was going to be tired. Gliding to an easy victory gave the Tar Heels opportunity to cycle through their bullpen without taxing any one pitcher.
When do they play next?
North Carolina play Sunday night at 6 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium against the winner of Sunday’s first game of Liberty versus Tennessee. If North Carolina wins out, the team will be headed to the super regionals.
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