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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 13 UNC baseball defeats Notre Dame, 13-0, in first game of series

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UNC senior Colby Wilkerson (3) throws the ball to first base during the game against N.C. A&T at Boshamer Stadium on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.

The No. 13 North Carolina baseball team (27-7, 12-4 ACC) scored early and often to defeat Notre Dame (15-16, 2-14 ACC) 13-0 on Friday night in Chapel Hill. 

First-year pitcher Jason DeCaro showed out in his first opening game start of the season. The right-hander punched out three batters while issuing a single walk in six innings pitched.   

DeCaro also blanked the Fighting Irish offense, allowing only three hits before stranding all runners en route to his second win of the season. 


“DeCaro was in complete control the whole time,” head coach Scott Forbes said. “He didn’t have that normal fastball that he usually has but he had four pitches for strikes.” 

Senior Parks Harber ignited UNC’s offense early when the first baseman blasted a 2-run home run in the bottom of the first. The moonshot was Harber’s 12th HR of the season, bringing in center fielder Vance Honeycutt from third. 

Two innings later, redshirt sophomore Casey Cook mirrored Harber with a 2-run blast of his own. The 398-foot home run extended the Diamond Heels’ lead to five after three completed frames. 

“You wanna chase for RBIs but if you try to chase them too hard and try to do too much then it doesn’t work out,” Cook said. “So honestly I’ve wanted to keep [the approach] the same and it's worked out.”

In the top half of the fourth, DeCaro caught a Notre Dame batter looking for his best strikeout of the night. His backdoor slider spun across the opposite batter's box before catching a corner of the plate for strike three.  

North Carolina continued to help out their pitcher in the bottom half of the inning – where Anthony Donofrio and Honeycutt collected a pair of RBI hits. 

The Diamond Heels poured on six more runs in the sixth inning to stretch the lead into double digits. Cook got the inning going with an RBI single before first-year Luke Stevenson blasted a 3-run home run for UNC’s final run of the night. 


“[We] scored a lot of runs and it just makes it so much easier to go out there and attack guys,” DeCaro said. “To go right after them and get some quick outs, which I thought I did an alright job with tonight, and let them do the work behind me.” 


Sophomore Kyle Percival came in to close out the evening for UNC, striking out one batter and retiring the side to finish off the Irish early in the seventh. 

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In total, North Carolina plated 13 runs on 11 hits – including three home runs from Harber, Cook, and Stevenson. 

The Diamond Heels will be back at Boshamer Stadium at 2 p.m. on Saturday. UNC lefty junior Shea Sprague will take the mound in game two of the three-game series. 

@cadeshoemaker23

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com