The Vols sliced the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth inning after Jay Charleston singled up the middle, and put himself in scoring position, getting called safe on review after stealing second. All it took from there was a single from Soularie to send the center fielder home. The steal was Charleston’s 41st of the game, a stat he leads the SEC in.
UNC showed the same patience it has at the box all season, getting both Caleb Roberts and Michael Busch on base with walks, before Sabato singled down the third baseline with a short drive to load the bases. When Serretti took his at bat, he drew yet another walk to let Roberts trot home and push the lead back up to three, UNC 5-2.
Who stood out?
While the Tar Heel’s high powered offense put them in front early, it was the pitching of Austin Bergner that kept that lead safe. Through 7.0 innings, Bergner threw for eight strikeouts, and only allowed four hits the entire game.
While he did allow two runs — one on a series of bad pitches the walked Soularie before ultimately allowing him to score on — he also pulled North Carolina out of the fire several times, forcing Tennessee to leave a total of four men on base, several in scoring position.
When was it decided?
If Saturday’s game proved anything, it’s that it only takes one inning to put a lot of runs on the ball. With the lead at three in the top of the ninth, North Carolina squandered any chance to give the team a bigger safety-net with a 1-2-3 inning. It was Joey Lancellotti, picking up where Bergner left off to get three outs to send North Carolina to the super regionals.
Why does it matter?
Chapel Hill has now made back-to-back super regionals. After a team that was inconsistent throughout the regular season, the Tar Heels have gotten hot at exactly the right time. They’ve outscored their opponents 61-23 throughout seven playoff games.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will play the next round of the super regionals in Chapel Hill, after the Georgia Tech loss to Auburn. The series will start next weekend.
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