The Diamond Heels were looking to get the taste of back-to-back losses out of their mouth and get this offense back on track. While they appeared to do just that to begin the week, the Tar Heels did not have the trip they were hoping for in Minneapolis. Here is a recap of this week in Carolina baseball.
Tuesday: No. 22 North Carolina 8 North Carolina A&T 0
Before heading to Minnesota for the Cambria College Classic, the Tar Heels were able to snap their two game losing streak with a dominant performance. After holding just a 2-0 lead through five innings, the Tar Heels would pull away with six runs in the next three innings as they raced away from the Aggies. The top three in the Tar Heel order combined for six of the teams eleven hits, led by a great performance from centerfielder Dylan Harris, who finished the day with two hits that drove in an RBI and two walks. Max Alba got his first start of the year on the bump and looked very strong in his 5.0 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six as he picked up the win.
Friday: Minnesota 4 No. 22 North Carolina 1
The Tar Heels opened the weekend with a tough loss to the host team, the Minnesota Golden Gophers. First baseman Aaron Sabato had a solid day at the plate, going 2-3 and bringing in one RBI on a sac fly to bring in the lone run of the day that tied the game in the 4th. However, the Gophers were able to scratch out two runs in the 5th and one in 7th to give their starter Max Meyer a healthy lead as he cruised to the complete game victory while striking out fourteen. Will Sandy would drop his second game of the season, despite a solid outing where he pitched 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs while striking out seven of his own.
Saturday: Iowa 5 No. 22 North Carolina 4
This one was a shot on the chin for this young Tar Heel team. The Tar Heels entered the bottom of the 9th leading the struggling Hawkeyes 4-0, but collapsed, allowing the Hawkeyes to send the game to extras and win the game with a 10th inning walk-off. The usually reliable Austin Love had arguably the worst outing of his career, allowing four runs in the 9th after get through the 8th unharmed. Chris Joyner would settle things down to send the game to extras, where Iowa’s Austin Martin would blast a walk-off home run over the left field fence off of Nik Pry. The collapse ruined what was a strong start from Joey Lancelloti, who allowed just three base runners in his 7.0 innings of work. The top of the lineup had another strong day, registering five of the team’s eight hits and driving in two of the teams four runs.
Sunday: No. 22 North Carolina 6 Purdue 5
After relinquishing a big lead on Saturday, the Tar Heels reversed that outcome on Sunday, storming back from a 4-0 deficit to close the weekend with a win. After getting one hit through the first seven innings of the game, the Tar Heels responded in bottom of the 7th, led by a Joey Lancelloti two-run shot that got things started, cutting the lead to two. Tyler Causey would make it a 4-3 game with a RBI single in a pinch hit at-bat. Purdue extended the lead back to two runs with a successful suicide squeeze in the top of the 8th. The Tar Heels wasted no time responding, though, as Will Schroder would cut the lead right back to one with a sac fly ahead of Patrick Alvarez’s game tying single that would eventually send the game into extra after the Heels left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th. Kyle Mott took care of business in the top of the 10th, giving the Tar Heels the chance to win in their half of the tenth. With Alvarez on first and one out, Clemente Incan would double into centerfield, his first hit of that season that brought in Alvarez to win the game. Mott picked up the win as one of seven pitchers to pitch in the game.