After getting swept in Miami last weekend, the No. 18 North Carolina baseball team (19-6, 5-4 ACC) bounced back Tuesday evening against UNCW (13-11, 1-2 CAA), beating the Seahawks 6-4.
After junior starter Brandon Schaeffer retired the Seahawks 1-2-3 in the top of the first, the Tar Heel bats got rolling in the bottom of the inning, taking an early lead off a three-run homer from junior shortstop Danny Serretti. In the bottom of the second, North Carolina added another run off a sacrifice fly to left field from sophomore catcher Tomas Frick to extend their lead to 4-0.
UNCW got on the board in a big way in the top of the third, scoring their first runs of the day off an error by Frick, a balk, and a long two-run homer from junior catcher Matt Suggs to tie the score at 4-4. The score remained tied into the seventh until sophomore designated hitter Alberto Osuna hit a mammoth two-run homer over the centerfield batter's eye to give the Tar Heels a two-run advantage, 6-4.
The North Carolina bullpen closed things out with sophomore Davis Palermo leading the way along with graduate student Shaddon Peavyhouse and junior Kyle Mott. The three North Carolina relievers combined for 6.1 innings of no-run ball, shutting down the Seahawk batters and leading the Tar Heels to their mid-week victory.
Who stood out?
Serretti led the charge for the Tar Heels at the plate, driving in three RBIs on his third home run of the season and going 3-4 at the plate. Osuna also had a nice night in the batter’s box, going 1-3 and hitting a key two-run homer in the seventh that ended up being the difference in the game. Sophomore first baseman Hunter Stokely also had a nice night for North Carolina, going 3-4 at the plate and registering eight putouts.
Palermo had a dominant outing for North Carolina on the mound, tossing 3.1 shutout innings and striking out five Seahawks after relieving Schaeffer in the third. Peavyhouse and Mott also combined for three scoreless inning, striking out three as a pair.
When was it decided?
The game remained tied into the seventh after UNCW evened things at four in the top of the third. Osuna’s moonshot gave the Tar Heels the late edge they needed to sneak out a two-run, 6-4 victory over the Seahawks.
Why does it matter?
After dropping their first conference series of the season in a sweep to Miami last weekend, North Carolina was able to bounce back against an in-state opponent, improving their non-conference record to 12-2. Heading into another tough ACC weekend series against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels were able to gain some confidence back, fighting their way to a slim victory against the Seahawks.
When do they play next?
North Carolina will be back at it in Chapel Hill on Friday for game one of its fourth conference series of the season as the Tar Heels take on Virginia Tech. First pitch for the April Fool’s Day contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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