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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC baseball drops game two of series to Boston College, 9-4

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UNC junior pitcher Connor Bovair (27) plays with the baseball while waiting for a review during the baseball game against Duke at Boshamer Stadium on Friday, March 24, 2023. UNC fell to Duke 8-5.

The No. 18 North Carolina baseball team (25-14, 9-9 ACC), lost to the No. 20 Boston College Eagles (26-12, 11-9 ACC), 9-4, Saturday night at Boshamer Stadium, dropping its second straight home ACC series.

What happened?

Boston College jumped out to an early lead as UNC starting pitcher Connor Boviar let up two hits in the first frame, and the Eagles scored on a sacrifice fly to center field.  

Casey Cook extended his streak of getting on base to 28 games, as the leadoff man popped a single into left field. However after loading the bases with no outs the Tar Heels were unable to capitalize and the inning ended with three men stranded.

The Tar Heels, once again, juiced the bases in the second, only to score when junior Jackson Van De Brake drew a walk to pull UNC level with the Eagles. Even with three men on base, the Diamond Heels walked away from the inning with only one run to show for it. 

The bats for both teams struggled at the plate after their respective one run innings, until junior Tomas Frick hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth to score Van De Brake, giving UNC its first lead of the game. 

First-year Cameron Padgett inherited a bases-loaded game on the line situation in the eighth and Cameron Leary proceeded to smash a grand slam successfully snatching the lead away from the Tar Heels. The Eagles continued to run away with the game in the ninth adding an additional four runs to their lead putting the Tar Heels in the lead when Travis Honeyman doubled down the left field line plating two more. 

Vance Honeycutt cut Boston College’s lead down with a two RBI homer in the ninth, his eleventh of the 2023 season. The Tar Heels ended the game in a bases loaded situation, and dropped their second home ACC series in a row. 

Who stood out? 

Sophomore Vance Honeycutt went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a home run. The Salisbury native homered in both games against the Eagles. 

Connor Bovair commanded on the mound going seven and a third innings allowing one run, on five hits while striking out three. Boviar is coming off a poor outing against Miami where the righty only saw the mound for three innings, and let six runs cross the plate. Conversely, this game marks the second time in Bovair’s career as a Tar Heel where he has gone seven plus innings pitched. 

When was it decided?

The Eagles exploded in the eighth as Cameron Leary smashed a grand slam to center field on a 2-2 count as Boston College took the lead in dramatic fashion. Similar to their games against ECU, the Tar Heels bullpen proved to not be up to the task of closing out the game. 

Why does it matter?

After losing their fourth one-run ACC matchup on Friday night, dropping the first game to the Eagles in extra innings, UNC was looking to survive with a win against Boston College. The bullpen, however, was unable to pitch the one and a two thirds innings required to take the win, giving up eight runs and showing once again the inconsistency that the Diamond Heels team struggles with. 

On Friday the bats were – tallying 16 hits – but unable to plate runs in crucial situations, with a stable bullpen. Saturday was a different story with starter Bovair holding the Eagles for one run and the bullpen leading to the downfall. 

When do they play next?

The Diamond Heels will conclude their home series against Boston College Sunday at noon. 

@gracegnugent

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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