North Carolina

BSB: No. 3 Tar Heels beat Blue Devils, 3-2, in extras

Posted May 19

Josh Hiatt UNC

Tyler Lynn's second walk-off hit in as many home conference wins lifted No. 3 North Carolina to a 3-2 victory over Duke in 10 innings Friday night at Boshamer Stadium. Josh Hiatt worked three scoreless innings in relief of J.B. Bukauskas to improve to 4-1 thanks to Lynn's bases-loaded infield single that plated Ashton McGee with the winning run.

Bukauskas, making what was likely his final regular season start as a Tar Heel, struck out eight over seven innings and allowed just two runs. Those runs came in the first two innings, however, as the Blue Devils (28-26, 12-17 ACC) built an early lead for the second day in a row.

Kennie Taylor's infield single made it 1-0 in the first before Jimmy Herron doubled just inside of third an inning later to push the score to 2-0.

Carolina (43-11, 22-7 ACC) quickly pulled a run back in the third against Duke starter Ryan Day on McGee's RBI single, but Karl Blum kept the Tar Heels off the board until the seventh. Michael Busch led off the inning with a double before pinch runner Adam Pate moved to third on a wild pitch and Cody Roberts walked. With runners on the corners, Brian Miller's fielder's choice off Nick Hendrix scored Pate to even the game at 2.

It would stay there until the decisive 10th thanks to the fine relief work of Hendrix and Hiatt. UNC's redshirt freshman closer retired nine of the 12 men he faced and struck out Taylor with two on in the 10th to set the stage for Lynn. With three scoreless innings, Hiatt lowered his ERA to 0.31 in 28.2 innings of work in the league.

Logan Warmoth led off the Carolina 10th with a clean single to center off Chris McGrath (1-2). After falling behind 1-2, McGee then sent a flare to left for his second hit of the night to put the winning run on third with nobody out. An intentional walk and a fielder's choice brought Lynn to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, and the senior delivered a game-winning single to short. Zack Kone gloved the grounder toward the hole and threw home, but McGee scored ahead of the throw to touch off another wild celebration on Bryson Field.

With the win, Carolina ties a program record with its 22nd ACC triumph of the year, equalling the mark established by the 2006 Tar Heels (22-8) that was also matched in 2008 (22-7) and 2012 (22-8). It also keeps UNC alive for a share of the overall conference title thanks to Louisville's loss to Florida State.

Bukauskas fought his command early in the game but rallied to retire 13 of the last 14 Blue Devils he faced. With eight strikeouts on the night, the junior righty moved into seventh on the all-time Carolina strikeout list with 284, three behind Kent Emanuel. Bukauskas also became the first Tar Heel weekend starter to finish the regular season with a sub-2.00 ERA since Emanuel in 2012.

Carolina will try to secure its 10th straight series victory in Saturday's regular season finale at 2 p.m. Gianluca Dalatri will get the ball for the Tar Heels opposite Duke's Adam Laskey.

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