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North Carolina

Tar Heels fall to No. 1 Virginia, 3-2

Posted April 19

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— Brandon Downes drove in three runs and Nathan Kirby outdueled Trent Thornton as No. 1 Virginia topped North Carolina 3-2 Friday night at Davenport Field. Landon Lassiter and Michael Russell had two hits each for the Tar Heels, who rallied to tie it in the sixth before Virginia scored the game-winner in the bottom half of the frame.

Virginia (32-6, 15-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) struck first in the bottom of the second when Downes drove an 0-1 pitch from Thornton out to left for his fifth home run of the year. It was the second homer allowed by Thornton (7-2) in 2014, and just the fourth extra-base hit against the Charlotte, N.C., sophomore.

And it seemed like it would be enough for the Cavaliers, as Kirby held the Tar Heels scoreless through the first five innings despite Carolina getting the leadoff man on base three times.

But UNC (22-16, 9-10 ACC) equalized against the sophomore lefty in the sixth. Trailing 2-0, UNC put two on with one out when Skye Bolt led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on Lassiter's double to the gap in left center. Parks Jordan then plated Bolt on a chopper to first before Lassiter scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2.

The tie would be short-lived, however, as the Wahoos used a perfect hit-and-run in the bottom of the sixth to put runners on the corners with no one out. John La Prise's single moved Nick Howard to third and Downes' sac fly made it 3-2, despite Bolt getting a second out with a bullet to catch La Prise trying to move up.

Carolina's best chance in the late innings came in the eighth, when Kirby departed with two outs and a runner on second after Wood Myers led off the frame with a single and moved to second on a Bolt sacrifice. It was nearly a bunt hit, but Kirby beat Bolt to the bag by a half-step for the first out of the eighth. Kirby (8-1) then struck out Tom Zengel for the third time before giving way to Whit Mayberry. Mayberry got Lassiter to swing and miss for the final out of the eighth, preserving the Virginia lead.

Trevor Kelley kept the Tar Heels within reach with two scoreless innings of relief, but Howard - the UVa first baseman/closer - struck out the side in the ninth to end it.

Russell led off the game with a double off Kirby that nearly left the yard and added his team-high 14th double of the year in the third.

Carolina will look to even the series Saturday afternoon at 1 when Benton Moss takes the mound opposite Virginia's Josh Sborz. That game will be televised live on the ACC Regional Sports Networks.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
PHI 91
CHA 109
Final
ORL 94
UTA 101
Final
CLE 95
BRK 91
Final
BOS 114
MIN 98
Final
DET 100
TOR 110
Final
MIA 103
WAS 105
Final
MEM 97
CHI 103
 
1st OT
SAN 104
POR 99
 
3rd
DEN 64
LAC 67
 
1st
LAL 0
OKC 0
 
Final
YOUNG 92
WILB 71
 
Final
TULA 56
JST 49
 
Final
RAD 76
SIENA 66
 
Final
BUCK 88
CASEWEST 65
 
Final
LIB 94
CPNC 65
 
Final
SCAR 68
CLEM 45
Final
CMICH 97
CONC 60
 
Final
MIAMI 44
EKENT 72
Final
GWEBB 91
HIWASSEE 71
 
Final
ODU 60
MDES 43
 
Final
BUF 88
NIAG 62
 
Final
KSU 71
NCAT 57
 
Final
FAM 65
UNF 83
 
Final
NORST 81
NARZ 62
 
Final
DART 58
NILL 55
 
Final
MORE 60
NKENTUCKY 83
 
Final
UCSB 69
SDCHR 46
 
Final
STJ 53
GAELS 47
Final
ALA 69
STILL 49
 
Final
HAMP 66
TENST 54
 
Final
TENN 61
TENT 58
Final
WMARY 86
WSHMD 46
 
Final
MERC 67
COOK 46
 
Final
FLGC 83
FUR 78
 
Final
CALST 49
SDKST 53
 
Final
MTST 68
CHAT 58
 
Final
NDAK 78
DICKINSON 48
 
Final
LAMON 76
LSUALEX 71
 
Final
PRIN 77
LIP 55
 
Final
LAM 80
MLGN 53
 
Final
MINN 92
SEAT 57
 
Final
LOYC 73
SUTAH 57
 
Final
SELA 81
WINT 71
 
Final
SILL 52
NO 56
 
2nd
MARQ 77
ALAAM 42
 
2nd
TTU 53
ARKPB 38
 
2nd
DEN 67
COLST 76
 
2nd
CREI 69
TXPA 51
 
1st
CAL 29
EWASH 24
 
1st
UTST 26
IDST 20
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
NJD 3
TAM 2
Final
OTT 6
ANA 2
Final
DET 1
NYI 2
Final
WIN 2
BOS 1
2nd Intermission
CAL 1
DAL 2