In its second matchup of a five-game homestand, the North Carolina baseball team (29-18, 10-14 ACC) defeated the Charleston Southern Buccaneers (18-26, 10-11 Big South), 12-1, at Boshamer Stadium on Wednesday.
After a scoreless top of the first inning for Charleston Southern, sophomore infielder Mac Horvath hit his first triple as a Tar Heel to start up UNC’s scoring momentum. All it took to give North Carolina an early lead was a single by junior shortstop Danny Serretti, making the score 1-0.
Just moments later, first-year center fielder Vance Honeycutt doubled up the middle to advance Serretti to third. Sophomore first baseman Hunter Stokely then reached first on a fielder’s choice and Serretti ran home to grow the Tar Heels’ lead. To round out the first inning, a single by sophomore catcher Tomas Frick brought Honeycutt across home plate and the score to 3-0.
Staying hot to score the game’s first home run for North Carolina in the bottom of the second inning was Horvath, who crossed the plate along with redshirt junior outfielder Angel Zarate, making it a 5-0 game.
Keeping the flood gates open, sophomore designated hitter Alberto Osuna hit a deep three-run homer that reached an estimated 448 feet, the second-longest by a Tar Heel this year.
After graduate pitcher Shaddon Peavyhouse came out of the game holding his lower back in the top of the third inning, Charleston Southern started to show up offensively when a fielder’s choice brought in their first run of the game and eventually loaded the bases. The Tar Heels put a quick stop to the Buccaneers when Horvath lept to grab the ball at third base and send Charleston Southern back to the dugout.
The bottom of the third inning proved to be another successful offensive run for UNC as a wild pitch allowed senior second baseman Mikey Madej to score and a three-run homer by Honeycutt extended the Tar Heels’ lead to 12-1.
Five and a half scoreless innings for both teams kept the score stagnant until the game concluded, resulting in a North Carolina victory.
Who stood out?
With a game full of show-stopping displays of athleticism, plenty of Tar Heels performed impressively across the diamond — but none more than Horvath.
Consistent and confident both in the box and on the field, Horvath played one of the best games of his collegiate career so far on Wednesday evening. His first-ever triple in a North Carolina uniform became the spark of North Carolina’s scoring run.
Similarly, his 420-foot home run in the second inning marked his 14th this season and 11th over the past 20 games. Not only is he a key player for UNC offensively, but his quick defensive thinking is what put a cork in the Buccaneer’s scoring Wednesday night.
When was it decided?
With ceaseless runs coming in so early in the game, it was clear that a Diamond Heel domination was ahead.
The deciding factors were the two respective three-run homers hit by Osuna and Honeycutt. These hits maintained UNC’s offensive momentum and exhibited its clear superiority over the Buccaneers.
Why does it matter?
While North Carolina was the obvious choice to win this game, Wednesday’s game not only gave the Tar Heels a stage to display their offensive talent but prepared them for the upcoming series versus Wake Forest and eventual postseason play.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will be staying in Chapel Hill for a three-game home series against Wake Forest starting on May 13 at 6 p.m.