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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC baseball falls short of game two victory, loses 10-9 to Georgia Tech

UNC sophomore outfielder Caleb Roberts (11) hits the ball at the game against UNCW on Tuesday May 18, 2021 at Boshamer stadium. The Tar Heels won 14-9.

After taking game one of their final regular season series against Georgia Tech (27-21, 20-15 ACC), the UNC baseball team (26-23, 18-17 ACC) dropped a thriller in game two to the Yellow Jackets, 10-9.  

What happened?

After a pitcher’s duel in game one, both teams came out swinging in game two — scoring a combined 19 runs off of 25 total hits. Georgia Tech got things rolling in the bottom of the second, scoring five runs to take an early 5-0 lead. In the top of the third, the Tar Heels responded — plating two runs off of first-year Johnny Castagnozi’s second home run of the series to cut the lead to three. 

In the top of the fourth, the Tar Heels scored two more runs to cut the lead to one off of an RBI triple from sophomore Danny Serretti and an RBI groundout from graduate player Brett Centracchio. Georgia Tech responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs off of doubles from first-years Tres Gonzales and Stephen Reid to extend their lead to 8-4. In the top of the fifth, the Tar Heels responded again with a three run homer from sophomore Caleb Roberts to cut the Yellow Jacket lead back to one, 8-7. 

The lead remained steady into the eighth until Georgia Tech added one more run off of a homer to left center from first-year Andrew Jenkins to give the Yellow Jackets a two run advantage heading into the ninth. The Tar Heels came up clutch in the top of the ninth, tying things up off an RBI single from sophomore Angel Zarate and an RBI double from Serretti, but the Yellow Jackets walked things off with a homer from first-year Drew Compton in the bottom half of the inning to give Georgia Tech a 10-9 victory.          

Who stood out? 

Castagnozzi, Serretti, and Roberts came up big for the Tar Heels at the plate Friday night, plating two runs a piece and tallying four total hits as a group. On a rough night for the Tar Heel pitching staff, Nik Pry provided a spark — pitching 1.2 innings of shutout ball with one strikeout and no walks. 

Georgia Tech relied on a team effort at the plate, with seven batters registering at least one RBI. Although it took a complete effort, Compton provided the spark the Yellow Jackets needed to take home the win in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off homer to give him his ninth of the season. Sophomore Luke Bartnicki closed things out for the Yellow Jackets, in the ninth — registering the last two outs for his second win of the season. 

When was it decided?

After a back and forth shootout, the game was finally decided in the bottom of the ninth when Compton hammered a solo homer to right center to give Georgia Tech the 10-9 victory.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels made things interesting Thursday night, pulling within one game of the first place Yellow Jackets in the coastal standings, but the Georgia Tech win Friday night puts them out of reach for UNC.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will be back in action Saturday afternoon for the rubber match of their three game series against the Yellow Jackets. UNC will look to close out the 2021 regular season on a positive note with one game remaining. First pitch is scheduled for 1 pm. 

@DTHSports |