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North Carolina

UNC knocks off No. 1 Virginia, 4-2

Posted April 20

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— Michael Russell hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to give North Carolina its first lead of the series, and Zac Gallen and Reilly Hovis made it hold up as the Tar Heels beat No. 1 Virginia 4-2 Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field.

Gallen rebounded from a rocky start to go 5.1 innings before Hovis retired the final 11 Cavalier hitters to give UNC its first win over a top-ranked team since a sweep of Virginia in 2011.

Virginia (33-7, 16-5 ACC) scratched first for the third day in a row when Branden Cogswell singled home Brandon Downes in the second. Gallen (4-3) labored through the first two innings, needing 45 pitches to get six outs, but the Gibbsboro, N.J., freshman found his groove in the third.

He faced the minimum in the next three innings, aided by a key 6-3-4 double play in the fourth when Adrian Chacon threw behind Downes to end the inning in unconventional fashion.

Carolina (23-17, 10-11 ACC) pulled even with a Landon Lassiter sac fly in the third and finally got its first lead of the weekend thanks to Russell's blast in the fifth. Parks Jordan, who had two hits and scored twice, reached on a leadoff single against Brandon Waddell (5-2). After a Korey Dunbar sacrifice, Russell crushed a 2-0 pitch into the trees beyond the left field bleachers to make it 3-1.

The Wahoos put two on with one out against Gallen in the sixth, and Carolina called on Hovis. The sophomore right-hander got out of the jam with just one run on a John La Prise safety squeeze, and the Gastonia, N.C., took over from there. Hovis retired the final 11 Virginia batters in order for his third save of 2014 and needed just 30 pitches to do it.

UNC added an insurance run in the seventh when Wood Myers' bases-loaded fielder's choice was mishandled by Daniel Pinero at second, pushing the Tar Heel lead to 4-2. Hovis ensured that would be sufficient as the Cavs couldn't get the tying run to the plate.

The Tar Heels will wrap up a four-game road swing Tuesday with a visit to East Carolina.

10 Comments

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  • Whistling Dixie Apr 20, 4:35 p.m.

    3 close games in this series. Shame they only got 1.

  • wjuliang Apr 20, 8:20 p.m.

    3 close games in this series. Shame they only got 1.

    — Posted by Whistling Dixie

    +1

  • canz Apr 20, 9:17 p.m.

    College bb. Go away

  • Whistling Dixie Apr 20, 9:30 p.m.

    College bb. Go away

    — Posted by canz

    LOL!

  • 4tarheels Apr 21, 5:49 a.m.

    Good to finally get a win. Not many highlights this season. GO HEELS!

  • T Cobb Apr 21, 6:38 a.m.

    College bb. Go away

    — Posted by canz

    Is this coming from a Canes fan?

  • Alex25 Apr 21, 8:24 a.m.

    Cheating seems to be the key.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Apr 21, 9:02 a.m.

    Good to finally get a win. Not many highlights this season. GO HEELS!

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Agree! Beating # 1 UVA at UVA is great, and the Heels played well in this series, although they lost 2 of 3. Hope they can make the ACCT.

  • Tarheel Country Apr 21, 2:23 p.m.

    WOOOOO-OOOOOOT!!!!

    #HEELBLOOD!!!!

  • KT called a Congressional hearin Apr 22, 3:47 p.m.

    WOOOOO-OOOOOOT!!!!

    #HEELBLOOD!!!!

    — Posted by Tarheel Country

    Apparently Shaniqua missed the part where they dropped 2 of 3 games.

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