The North Carolina baseball team (6-3, 2-3 ACC) lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies (7-1, 4-1 ACC), 6-4, in the second game of the weekend series.
North Carolina opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, when first-year Tomas Frick hit an RBI single to drive in redshirt sophomore Angel Zarate. In the bottom of the second, Virginia Tech quickly responded with a Tanner Schobel home run to left field, which tied the game, 1-1.
In the top of the third, sophomore Justice Thompson hit a home run to center field to help the Tar Heels reclaim the lead, putting the score at 2-1. But once again, it wouldn’t take long for the Hokies to answer. A Kevin Madden double drove in two runs, and Virginia Tech took a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth.
UNC’s Max Troiani led off the fourth inning with a single, and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Zarate took advantage of the miscue and singled to center, driving in Troiani and tying the game at three runs apiece.
After a scoreless fifth, the Hokies started to pull away in the sixth inning. Virginia Tech opened with a leadoff single and capitalized on two wild pitches to drive in a run via a sacrifice fly. Later in the inning, the Hokies scored two more runs after Jack Hurley singled through the right side, and the score became 6-3.
The Tar Heels closed the gap in the eighth inning after Thompson drove in Zarate with an RBI single, but the team could not complete the comeback, and ultimately fell 6-4.
Who stood out?
Despite the loss, the Tar Heels turned in a solid offensive performance, collecting nine hits as a team. Thompson, Zarate and Troiani all had multi-hit games, each chipping in two hits. For Troiani, it was the first multi-hit game of his career.
Thompson continued his hot hitting with a home run in the third inning. Through nine games, he is hitting .429 with three home runs.
When was it decided?
The score was close early, and through the top half of the sixth inning, the game was tied, 3-3. In the bottom half of the inning, however, Virginia Tech scored three runs to build a lead the team would never relinquish.
Why does it matter?
After winning two out of three games against Virginia last week, it marked the first time since 2017 that UNC won its opening series of ACC play.
However, the Tar Heels have not been able to figure out the Hokies, who lead the ACC Coastal division and are 7-1 overall. With the loss, UNC has lost three consecutive games after opening the season with six wins in a row.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will take on Virginia Tech in the final game of the series on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
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