In a fiery pitching battle, the North Carolina baseball team (29-17), beat the No. 14 East Carolina Pirates (31-14), 2-1, Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium in Greenville.
Junior pitcher Connor Bovair started on the mound for the Diamond Heels and held the Pirates scoreless through the first three innings of play.
Bovair was locked in a battle with ECU pitcher Garrett Saylor, who struck out six Tar Heel batters in his four innings of work.
Sophomore outfielder Vance Honeycutt put the Diamond Heels on the board in the top of the fourth frame with a 366-foot solo home run to left field.
The Pirates responded in the bottom of the fourth when Jacob Starling singled to center, stole second and was batted in by Jacob Jenkins-Cowart. The Tar Heels looked like they would have their hands full during the inning, but junior catcher Tomas Frick and junior shortstop Colby Wilkerson caught Jenkins-Cowart stealing second.
Both teams sat silent until the top of the sixth, when the Tar Heels loaded the bases on a walk, a fielding error and a single by junior outfielder Mac Horvath. Junior first baseman Hunter Stokley hit an RBI fielder's choice to score junior second baseman Jackson Van De Brake to give the Diamond Heels a one run lead.
Heading into the seventh inning, the Tar Heels were narrowly hanging on to their one run lead, with both teams finding difficulty at the plate, with just four combined hits.
Defensively, Frick and Wilkerson found a groove with Frick throwing two perfectly placed balls to tag out runners at second, getting the Tar Heels out of potentially difficult situations.