The clouds held the rain back Saturday morning at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park after the Diamond Tar Heels match-up against the Clemson Tigers was changed from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. due to bad weather. But, North Carolina fell to the Tigers 10-4 in the ACC tournament semifinals.
The Tigers took the lead early, scoring five runs in the first inning against the Tar Heels. Two hits from the Tigers put runners on first and second and then Clemson pitcher Caden Grice hit a ball to right field. This gave the Tigers a 2-0 advantage with Grice on base. The Tigers followed Grice's two-run RBI with two home runs, leaving UNC with their largest deficit against any opponent this ACC tournament.
North Carolina changed pitchers and got out of the first inning. The Tar Heels switched pitchers numerous times throughout the game, with eight pitchers seeing the mound. North Carolina did not back down, racking up two hits in the second inning as junior third baseman Johnny Castagnozzi put their first run on the board.
Grice consistently sent the Tar Heels to the dugout with nine strikeouts, limiting their time on base. The Tigers had no problem extending their stay at the plate, racking up 13 hits during the game, most landing in well-placed spots in the gaps. The Tigers added two more runs in their turn at bat during the second inning and held the Tar Heels to just one run — robbing a couple of hits with catches in the deep outfield during the top of the third.
UNC junior designated hitter Alberto Osuna hit a home run to right field to add another run for the Diamond Heels. This was Osuna’s first home run in 12 games. UNC junior catcher Tomas Frick also hit two home runs, both with no runners on base.
However, the damage was already done, and the No. 6 team in the country showed out on the field. Clemson’s lead-off batter Cam Cannarella hit yet another triple to right-field, driving in two runners for the Tigers and leaving the Tar Heels in a seven run deficit heading into the top of the seventh.
The Clemson Tigers beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 4-10 after nine innings.