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The Daily Tar Heel

No. 11 UNC baseball defeats Campbell, 16-10, in midweek game

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Junior outfielder Vance Honeycutt (7) runs the bases after a home run during the baseball game against Coastal Carolina at Boshamer Stadium on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

In a game characterized by high-powered bats, the No. 11 UNC baseball team won a back-and-forth, 16-10, game over Campbell on Tuesday evening.

After Campbell scored a quick run in the top of the first off junior pitcher Aidan Haugh, the Tar Heels responded with two in the bottom of the frame. With two runners in scoring position, senior designated hitter Alberto Osuna drove home both with a two-out knock into left center field.

UNC continued its offensive firepower in the second. Redshirt sophomore Casey Cook poked a single through the left side with the bases loaded, scoring two and putting runners on the corners with one out. Two batters later, graduate right fielder Anthony Donofrio smashed a liner to the warning track in deep center field to bring in two runs of his own and extend UNC’s lead to 6-1.

The Camels fought back in the third. Sophomore pitcher Matthew Matthijs entered the game for Haugh, and the Camels pounced on him with a run. With runners on the corners and two outs, senior pitcher Connor Bovair took the mound and quickly gave up another RBI single down the right field line.

In the bottom of the inning, senior shortstop Colby Wilkerson brought in UNC’s seventh run of the game, lining a double into the right field corner and allowing the runner on first to dash all the way home. Campbell continued to trade runs with UNC to start the fourth, clanging a solo homer off the bottom of the left field foul pole. Later in the frame, the Camels cut the deficit to two with a two-out single into right.

After UNC’s first scoreless inning, Campbell combined for three runs to take the lead in the fifth.  Another solo shot high over the wall in right center field made it 7-6, and the Camels tied it up off senior pitcher Matt Poston three batters later. A single over the shortstop’s head with two outs delivered Campbell its first lead since the first inning.

The Camel lead did not last long, though, as the Tar Heels brought home two in the bottom of the fifth. Senior third baseman Jackson Van De Brake smacked his second hit of the game to tie it up at eight, and the next batter Wilkerson hit a sac fly into center field for UNC’s ninth run.

"He hasn’t been winning many of those at bats,” head coach Scott Forbes said. “So that'll give him some confidence for sure.”

The back-and-forth battle carried into the sixth. Junior Ben Peterson became UNC’s fifth pitcher to give up a run as he could not work out of a jam. With runners on the corners and two outs, the Camel batter singled over the outstretched glove of Wilkerson and into left field. 

“He was in the rotation a lot early on,” first-year catcher Luke Stevenson said. “And it's good to see him back out there and succeeding like he is because [the] kid works hard and he deserves it.”

The Tar Heels blew the doors open in the bottom of the sixth. After Campbell’s right fielder muffed a fly ball, allowing senior first baseman Johnny Castagnozzi to reach third, Donofrio singled in his third RBI of the game to give UNC a 10-9 advantage. Junior center fielder Vance Honeycutt capped off a six-run frame with a two-run shot into the trees in right field, extending the lead to six.

UNC and Campbell traded runs one more time before redshirt sophomore Dalton Pence closed out the victory in the ninth.

“A lot of guys took the weekend off,” Stevenson said. “So getting a lot of guys in the game and getting them ready for the weekend is huge.”

The Tar Heels return to the Bosh on Friday for the final home weekend series of the season, taking on Louisville.

@brendan_lunga18

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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