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Alberto Osuna hits two solo homers in No. 17 North Carolina baseball's 12-3 win over Longwood

UNC senior first baseman/designated hitter Alberto Osuna (23) swings to strike the ball during the men’s baseball game against Wagner at Boshamer Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024. UNC won 16-5.

Senior first baseman Alberto Osuna hit two solo home runs as the No. 17 North Carolina baseball team (7-2) beat Longwood (6-2), 12-3, Wednesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. It was Osuna’s fourth career game with two homers and first since 2022. Osuna, graduate outfielder Anthony Donofrio and first-year catcher Luke Stevenson each tallied three RBIs.

“Once you slow down, everything else slows down around you,” Osuna said. “It’s been a lot of preparation — kind of slowing myself down before the game, on deck. And then when I’m in the box, at that point it’s see it and hit it and stay relaxed.”

It was a short outing for UNC’s starter — first-year righty Boston Flannery. He struggled with command, walking three in one and a third innings of work.

Longwood scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. Noah Campanelli walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch from Flannery. 

The Tar Heels got on the board in the bottom of the inning through the first Osuna home run.

“He’s more balanced,” head coach Scott Forbes said about Osuna. “He and [hitting coach Jesse Wierzbicki] have spent a lot of time on his base and his swing, and it’s paying off for him.”

UNC then took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Donofrio drove in two with a two-out double to right and scored on an Osuna double to deep center.

After sophomore right-hander Matthew Matthijs pitched two and two thirds innings of scoreless ball in relief of Flannery, senior righty Ben Peterson came on and found trouble in the top of the fifth. Tanner Thomas doubled to lead off the inning, and a walk and a wild pitch left two in scoring position for the Lancers. But junior right-handed pitcher Aidan Haugh entered the fray and shut things down, striking out Willie Havens and inducing a pop out in foul territory.

The Tar Heels loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth for Donofrio, who walked to force in a run and end the afternoon for Longwood starter Owen Simmons. Redshirt sophomore outfielder Casey Cook scored on a wild pitch before Stevenson plated two more with a two-out knock. Graduate infielder Alex Madera grounded out to leave three stranded, but UNC led 8-1 after five innings.

The Lancers plated two unearned runs in the top of the seventh. Ryan Perez singled to left and senior outfielder Patrick Alvarez and junior outfielder Vance Honeycutt struggled to field, each committing errors that allowed the runs to score. 

North Carolina got both runs right back and more in the bottom of the frame. Osuna hit his second homer, a laser to right center to tie Honeycutt for the team lead at five. The ball had to fight the wind and still traveled 405 feet.

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“He’s got the most raw power of anybody I’ve coached,” Forbes said.

Also in the inning, Stevenson recorded another RBI single, Madera reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in a run, and graduate designated hitter Eliot Dix scored on a wild pitch.

Led by Matthijs and Haugh, the UNC bullpen was solid, not allowing an earned run over seven and two thirds innings of work.

“The bullpen was pretty dang good,” Forbes said. “[Matthijs] continues to throw well. Aidan Haugh continues to throw well.”

The Tar Heels continue their homestand on Friday, when they will begin a three-game set against Princeton. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

@dthsports |