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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 13 Diamond Heels go yard five times in 10-4 victory over Virginia Commonwealth

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UNC junior infielder Mac Horvath (10) stands ready on the field during the baseball game against VCU at Boshamer Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023.

Behind five Tar Heel homers, the No. 13 North Carolina baseball team (5-3), beat the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams (2-5), 10-4, Tuesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.

What happened?

The bats were cold for the Heels in the first inning as the top of the lineup went three up, three down. 

In the top of the second, catcher Tomas Frick slammed his second home run of the season over the scoreboard. Junior Alberto Osuna followed his teammates' lead and bombed another over the left field fence — the first time Heels hit back-to-back homers since opening day last year when Angel Zarate and Danny Seretti went yard. 

UNC had their best offensive output in the bottom of the third. Junior Mac Horvath hit a dropping line drive right over the head of VCU shortstop William Bean and stole his first base of the game to advance to second. One shot out of the park was not enough for the South Carolina native as Frick smashed a three-run homer on a 2-0 count, driving in Horvath and Casey Cook. 

The Rams responded to the Tar Heel offense in the following inning by generating some offensive flow of their own. Bean homered to left center on his first seen pitch. VCU would go on to score an additional run in the frame when Ethan Brooks hit an RBI single to left center. 

Pre-season All-American Vance Honeycutt hit a solo shot — his second of the season — over the left field fence in the bottom of the fourth. 

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Rams reminded the Tar Heels that the game was by no means put away by scoring two in the frame. 

Horvath kept his bat rolling, whacking his fifth homer of the season over the left-center wall, garnering three additional runs as the Minnesota native sent Wilkerson and Alverez home. 

The final run of the game was scored by junior Patrick Alverez when he was sent home by a Honeycutt single to left field. 

Who stood out? 

Catcher Tomas Frick continued his lightning hot streak as the slugger went 2-for-4 with two homers — his first career multi-homer game — as well as four RBIs. 

Third baseman Mac Horvath hit his fifth homer of the 2023 cycle, bringing his RBI total to 11 RBIs, second only to Frick. 

When was it decided?

The second through sixth inning saw runs scored in each frame by either the Heels or the Rams. Three-run homers from both Frick and Horvath, in the third and the sixth, respectively, proved to be the fuel for the Diamond Heels offense. 

Why does it matter?

The Diamond Heels dropped both games to ECU the previous week after surrendering crucial runs late in the game, causing doubts about the strength of the Tar Heel bullpen. The Heels showed stout pitching once starter Jake Knapp left in the fifth inning, allowing zero runs on zero hits with eight strikeouts between pitchers Will Sandy, Ben Peterson, Matthew Matthijs and Matt Poston. 

Peterson struck out four of the six batters he faced and Matthijs had two strikeouts in his one-inning showing. 

UNC showed poise at the plate as well with five homers and 10 hits.

When do they play next?

The Diamond Heels will host the VCU Rams again at Boshamer Stadium on Wednesday at 4 p.m. 

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@gracegnugent

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com