After a key win on Friday night to start the weekend series, the North Carolina baseball team (21-10, 7-7 ACC) squared off with the Louisville Cardinals (22-8, 8-3 ACC) again on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals were able to take game two in extra innings, beating the Tar Heels 9-8.
Louisville senior starter Jared Poland shut down the first five North Carolina batters to start the game, keeping UNC from any offensive action until sophomore Mac Horvath was walked with two outs. The Cardinals eventuallly gave up a two-run home run to sophomore Alberto Osuna in the second inning. That hit marked Osuna’s third two-run homer of the weekend, and put UNC up 2-0.
North Carolina sophomore starting pitcher Connor Bovair kept the Louisville offense quiet early in the game, capitalizing on a big strikeout with two outs and two Cardinals on base in the bottom of the second to keep Louisville off the board.
But to start the bottom of the fourth inning, Bovair gave up a solo home run by Louisville junior Dalton Rushing.
A combination of a fielding error, an executed bunt and a walk loaded the bases for the Cardinals later that same inning. Louisville’s Ben Bianco hit a huge grand slam off of Bovair to give the Cardinals their first lead of the weekend.
Bovair was unable to get out of the inning before graduate right-handed pitcher Shaddon Peavyhouse replaced him on the mound. Bovair finished with 3.2 innings pitched, giving up six hits and four earned runs but also striking out two Cardinals.
Peavyhouse was able to halt the Louisville offensive run, but the Cardinals had taken over the lead in the fourth inning to go up 5-2.
After another Louisville run crossed the plate in the fifth inning, UNC started to get to Poland in the top of the sixth, when Tomas Frick drove in one run for the Tar Heels. However, Poland struck out the next three Tar Heels to maintain a 6-3 lead. Poland was crucial for the Cardinals, finishing his day with a career-high 10 strikeouts.