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North Carolina

UNC rallies past VT, 3-2

Posted April 25

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Michael Russell had two hits and Adam Pate scored two runs as North Carolina rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Virginia Tech 3-2 Friday evening at Boshamer Stadium. Carolina scored the tying and winning runs on a pair of RBI fielder's choices off the bat of Skye Bolt to make a winner out of Trevor Kelley, who went 2.1 scoreless innings in relief of Trent Thornton.

 

Thornton and Virginia Tech's Sean Keselica matched each other pitch for pitch through five innings as neither offense was able to muster much. The Hokies (18-23-1, 7-15 ACC) had the best opportunity of the stretch in the fifth, when they put runners on second and third with nobody out. But Thornton was at his best after Logan Bible's double, striking out a pair before Saige Jenco fouled out to third to end the threat.

But the visitors would break through in the sixth after Thornton showed some uncharacteristic wildness. Mark Zagunis reached on a one-out single and advanced to third on a stolen base and an error. After hitting Brendon Hayden to put two on, Thornton got ahead of Keselica 0-2 before walking him to load the bases. Tech got its first run when a suicide squeeze turned into a bunt single for Wernicki and made it 2-0 on Bible's RBI single.

Thornton and the Tar Heels were able to limit the damage, however, when Landon Lassiter started a 5-2-3 double play on Ricky Surum's sharp grounder.

That would prove to be a key moment, as the Tar Heels (25-18, 11-11 ACC) immediately tied it in the bottom of the sixth. Carolina loaded the bases on a pair of bunt singles and a walk before Lassiter struck out for the first out of the frame. Bolt then grounded to second for a force out, but Surum's throw got away from Hayden at first, allowing Russell and Pate to score the tying runs.

It was deja vu in the eighth when the Hokies intentionally walked Lassiter to load the bases for Bolt. Once again the sophomore switch-hitter grounded to second, and again the throw from Surum missed its mark, this time pulling Hayden off the bag to allow Pate to score from third.

Meanwhile, Kelley had sailed through the seventh and eighth, retiring the first seven batters he faced until Bible's one-out single in the ninth. With the tying run aboard, Carolina called on Reilly Hovis, and the sophomore stopper got Surum to ground out before striking out Miguel Ceballos to end it.

It was the first win of the year for Kelley, who has allowed just two runs in 15.1 innings in the month of April. Thornton surrendered two runs on six hits in 6.0 innings and took a no-decision.

Keselica (3-3) was the hard-luck loser for Virginia Tech, as the lefty allowed just four hits and struck out five in a complete-game loss. Bible led the way offensively for the Hokies with three hits, while Wernicki added a pair.

Russell had two of Carolina's four hits, including his 16th double of the year. The junior shortstop is now batting .349 on the year and .416 in ACC play.

Game two of the three-game Coastal Division series is set for Saturday night at 6. Benton Moss will take the ball for Carolina against Tech's Brad Markey. UNC will honor the 1964 ACC Championship team as well as the 1989 College World Series squad during Saturday's contest.

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  • heelsforever Apr 26, 4:02 p.m.

    REALLY need to sweep this series.

  • 4tarheels Apr 26, 8:11 a.m.

    Yes.

  • Gunnstigator Apr 26, 6:31 a.m.

    Glad the Heels got this win in a very tight, competitive game. Hope they can put another in the "W" column today.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
 
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR