After a narrow win in Friday’s game one, the UNC baseball team (14-11, 9-8 ACC) failed to keep its recent success going on Saturday, falling to No. 18 Florida State (14-9, 9-8 ACC), 4-2.
Early on, things just weren’t going the Tar Heels’ way. In the first three innings, the Tar Heels had no trouble hitting — however, they struggled with putting the ball into play. Their first nine outs were mostly unfortunate breaks with four fly outs, one foul out, and a pop up. By the end of the third inning, UNC found itself down 0-2 from a two-run home run by Florida State in the first.
Luck turned around for the Tar Heels in the fourth inning, starting with a double by sophomore shortstop Danny Serretti. Immediately after, sophomore outfielder Caleb Roberts homered to right field, bringing Serretti home to even the score at 2-2.
However, that was the most success UNC had for the rest of the game, as the first three innings repeated themselves after the fourth. The problem was not putting the ball into play, but instead leaving runners stranded on base, especially in the sixth inning, when three runners were left on base to close the inning.
UNC couldn’t get anything going in the eighth inning, thanks to a fly out and two pop-ups.
In the ninth inning with the game, still tied, the Tar Heels had a chance to have a repeat of Friday night’s late game clutch performance. Sophomore outfielder Justice Thompson singled to left field, and Roberts was intentionally walked two outs later, giving UNC two runners in scoring position. Unfortunately, first-year catcher Tomas Frick could not bring them home following Roberts’ at bat, striking out swinging to end the Diamond Heels’ night and give the Seminoles the win.
Who stood out?
Roberts had the offensive highlight for the Tar Heels today with his home run in the fourth inning, bringing home their only two runs.
Senior pitcher Gage Gillian provided some exceptional pitching for UNC, striking out seven out of the 16 batters he faced, with only two hits and no earned runs.
When was it decided?
The game was hard-fought between both teams, as they were stalemated at 2-2 from the fourth inning to the ninth. In the ninth inning, both teams found themselves without any runs with two outs. Florida State, though, was the only one to make a positive out of the situation to win the game.
Why does it matter?
This was a decisive game two for the Tar Heels as they had a chance to seal a series win along with their second win in a row to make up for last week’s losing streak. Although Friday’s win was a positive moment for them, the Tar Heels still find themselves in a funk, and have some work to do in order to turn these losses into wins.
When do they play next?
UNC will play game three against Florida State with hopes to win the series on Sunday at 12 p.m.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.