After a 12-3 win on Saturday secured a series win for the Diamond Heels (31-19, 12-15 ACC) against Wake Forest (35-16-1, 12-14-1 ACC), the Tar Heels failed to complete the three-game sweep of the Demon Deacons, losing 11-2 on Sunday.
The top of the first saw the Demon Deacons itching for a win with back-to-back-home runs. After UNC followed up with redshirt junior right fielder Angel Zarate’s homer in the bottom of the first inning, the Tar Heels were quickly shut out until the eighth inning. UNC’s runs were both off of solo homers from Zarate and sophomore designated hitter Alberto Osuna, whose bomb in the eighth inning brought the Tar Heels their second and final run of the night.
Wake Forest scored 10 runs in the first three innings and ran laps around the bases after a grand slam in the third inning solidified the Demon Deacon lead. Wake Forest played every offensive weapon necessary to run the score up, and it worked well in the Deamon Deacons’ favor, as they prevented a three-game sweep.
Who stood out?
UNC junior shortstop Danny Serretti was one of only two players who recorded multiple hits on Sunday, hitting singles in the bottom of the first and third innings. Serretti has been competing to up his career hitting streak, and Sunday’s matchup marks 25-straight games that he’s recorded a hit. Osuna’s home run was his 16th on the season, the most on the team.
While UNC continued to play at the same level the team has been, Sunday’s game showed an especially strong offensive performance from Wake Forest, a showing that wasn’t on display in the series’ prior two games.
When was it decided?
The Demon Deacon’s secured multiple multi-hit showings from their roster, and after UNC plated its first run from Zarate in the first, this was quickly followed up with seven unanswered runs from Wake Forest. The five-run third inning for the Demon Deacons, which included a grand slam and an RBI single, proved to be the nail in the coffin.
Why does it matter?
With morale high after Saturday’s blowout victory, and a sunny “Fan Appreciation” afternoon at Boshamer, UNC was primed for a series sweep of the Demon Deacons. The offensive play is reminiscent of how Wake Forest’s team played earlier this season, but the same aggression wasn’t evident in this series until Sunday.
More importantly, looking at UNC’s playing caliber in this series shows they’re in a good spot for ACC contention. However, the result of Sunday’s game puts into question how the Tar Heels are strategizing for some harder tournament competitors who may be able to pile on the runs early just as Wake Forest did in this game.
When do they play next?
UNC will play UNCW on Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m. in Wilmington, N.C., before facing off against Florida State in a series this weekend.