UNC’s baseball team fell to Notre Dame on Sunday, 14-8, closing out the series with a sweep by the Fighting Irish.
Similar to the previous two games of the series, North Carolina was simply outmatched at the plate by Notre Dame.
After a scoreless first inning, Notre Dame quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the second. The Tar Heels got on the board with a run by Eric Grintz, who scored on an RBI from Dallas Tessar. Notre Dame scored two more runs in the third, which were answered by a solo home run from Aaron Sabato.
Still, North Carolina trailed 7-2 headed into the fourth inning.
UNC held Notre Dame scoreless in the top of the inning, giving them a prime opportunity to close the gap. Grintz scored another run, this time on a double by Mikey Madej. Will Stewart followed up the score by hitting a single on the right side of the field to score Tessar. Madej scored after Sabato walked to first, Clemente Inclan scored on an RBI by Angel Zarate and Dylan Harris scored on an RBI from Danny Serretti to tie the game, 7-7.
The game seemed to be well in reach for North Carolina after it had managed to match the scoring of Notre Dame and momentum seemed to pick up.
After North Carolina’s hot fourth inning, Notre Dame matched it with a three-run fifth inning. The Tar Heels scored once more in the sixth inning with an RBI from Zarate that scored Inclan, but they still trailed 10-8.
Norte Dame scored one run in the seventh inning and three in the eighth en route to a 14-8 victory. The Fighting Irish swept the weekend, leaving North Carolina winless in the ACC after three games of conference play.
Who stood out?
Madej earned two hits in the game, keeping North Carolina in the game. One of Madej’s hits scored Grintz to begin the scoring flurry in the fourth inning. In the same inning, Madej scored a run to bring the deficit to two runs.
Though Madej’s second hit did not produce any runs in the ninth inning, he was largely responsible for UNC tying the game in the fourth inning.
When was it decided?
The eighth inning secured the sweep for Notre Dame. While North Carolina was still within reach when it was trailing 11-8, it gave up two runs on a two-RBI double by Jack Brannigan, extending the deficit to five runs.
Despite trailing by six runs in the bottom of the eighth, the Tar Heels had two opportunities to make a comeback with another high scoring inning. UNC went scoreless in the bottom of the eighth but kept the Fighting Irish without a run after the top of the ninth.
North Carolina came off the field fairly quickly in the bottom of the ninth without a hit, however, sealing the series sweep for the Fighting Irish.
Why does it matter?
This loss puts UNC at 0-3 in the ACC and 10-7 overall. The Tar Heels, who began the season with high expectations, will have to find a winning formula for conference games.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Boshamer Stadium.
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