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Friday August 12th

Seven-run seventh inning dooms UNC baseball in 10-3 loss to Boston College

<p>UNC first-year pitcher Max Carlson (35) delivers a pitch during UNC's 7-4 win over James Madison at Boshamer Stadium, Feb. 20, 2021.</p>
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UNC first-year pitcher Max Carlson (35) delivers a pitch during UNC's 7-4 win over James Madison at Boshamer Stadium, Feb. 20, 2021.

Following a dominant 9-3 win against No. 21 Boston College (11-6, 3-5 ACC) on Friday, the No. 14 North Carolina baseball team (11-6, 7-4 ACC) dropped game two of the series, 10-3, on Saturday.

What happened?

The Tar Heels’ bats were cold at the beginning of the game, as the team had only two hits and left three runners on base through the first four innings. First-year pitcher Max Carlson and the UNC defense also struggled early, as Boston College took advantage of two wild pitches to score two runs in the bottom of the first.

After a Luke Gold home run extended the Eagles lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third, the Tar Heels got on the board in the top of the fifth. Junior third baseman Clemente Inclan walked, then redshirt sophomore left fielder Angel Zarate doubled down the right field line, trimming the Boston College lead to 3-1. 

The Tar Heels had a chance to close the gap once again in the top of the seventh, but ultimately did not score. In the bottom half of the inning, Boston College broke the game open and scored seven runs, which made the score 10-1. UNC used three pitchers in the inning, yet none seemed to have an answer for the Eagles’ hot bats. 

UNC scored two runs in the top of the eighth, which brought the deficit to 10-3. First-year catcher Eric Grintz singled through the left side of the field, bringing home sophomore Caleb Roberts. After a wild pitch advanced Brett Centracchio to third base, Centracchio scored another run due to a fielder's choice in the next at bat. 

When the Tar Heels came to the plate in the ninth inning, all three batters were retired, which ultimately sealed the 10-3 defeat. 

Who stood out? 

Despite the lopsided score, Zarate’s hitting was a highlight for the Tar Heels. He led the team with three hits and logged an RBI in five at bats, Zarate is hitting .344 this season, and has now reached base safely in 37 consecutive games dating back to 2019.

When was it decided?

Although the Tar Heels trailed only 3-1 the top of the seventh inning, the seven-run explosion from Boston College in the bottom half sealed the team’s fate. 

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels have struggled on the road this season and are now 2-4 away from Boshamer Stadium. Although UNC has risen to the No. 14 ranking, the frequent away losses have demonstrated some inconsistent play  — something the team needs to fix to remain among the top teams in the country. 

When do they play next?

UNC will close out its series against Boston College on Sunday at 1 p.m.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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