In a 13-inning battle, the North Carolina baseball team lost to the Iowa Hawkeyes, 6-5, and were eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
The Diamond Heels, who have struggled with hitting when runners are in scoring position, found hits early as junior outfielder Mac Horvath notched a double and junior second baseman Jackson Van De Brake hit an infield single. UNC was able to juice the bases but a strikeout and fly out left all three men stranded.
Redshirt first-year outfielder Casey Cook — coming off his defensive heroics against Wright State — continued his fireworks in the second, homering to right field, scoring junior shortstop Colby Wilkerson, who had drawn a walk. It was Cook’s third home run of the season and it gave the Tar Heels a two-run lead.
The Hawkeyes found their first run a frame later on an RBI sacrifice fly with two men in scoring position and cut the Tar Heel lead in half.
First-year Cameron Padgett remained on the mound until the fifth inning, when head coach Scott Forbes turned the game over to the bullpen and he was replaced first-year Kyle Percival.
The Hawkeyes took advantage of the pitching change as Brennen Dorighi blasted a three run bomb to center field, giving Iowa their first lead of the game.
Iowa added another run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly ball to right field, scoring Sam Petersen.
As in the previous game against the Hawkeyes, the Tar Heels were able to attempt to mount a comeback in the eighth. Junior catcher Tomas Frick and junior first baseman Hunter Stokely were both able to knock singles into the outfield off of Hawkeye’s starting pitcher Ty Lagenberg.