March 11, 2017
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The No. 8 Virginia baseball team split a doubleheader at No. 10 North Carolina Saturday at Boshamer Stadium, winning the opener, 2-1, before falling in the nightcap, 12-2. North Carolina (12-4, 2-1 ACC) earned the series win, two games to one, as Virginia (13-3, 1-2) suffered its first ACC-opening series loss since 2008.
“We got beat this weekend by the big inning. In Game 1 (on Friday), we gave up a four-run inning and a five-run inning, and today an eight-run inning, and you’re just not going to beat a good opponent like North Carolina by doing that,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “That said, I thought Adam Haseley pitched well and we played a pretty good ballgame in the first game today. We’ve got to get better and certainly that will be our focus moving forward.”
Virginia outlasted North Carolina in a great pitchers’ duel in Game 1, getting a go-ahead single from Nate Eikhoff (So., Bristow, Va.) in the ninth inning in a 2-1 victory.
Adam Haseley (Jr., Windermere, Fla.) not only pitched eight innings of one-run baseball and earned the win, but he also was 3-for-4 with a solo home run. Haseley (3-0) allowed six hits and three walks while striking out four. Tommy Doyle (Jr., Vienna, Va.) stranded a runner at third in the ninth inning to earn his third save.
UNC starter Luca Dalatri (2-2) took the hard-luck loss after working 8 1/3 innings and allowing two runs, seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
Justin Novak (Jr., Tokyo, Japan) also was 3-for-4 for the Cavaliers, who finished with nine hits.
Haseley got UVA on the board in the first inning with a two-out home run over the wall in left-center field. It was his sixth home run of the year, with each going to the opposite field.
After having runners on base in each of the first five innings, UNC knotted the score on a leadoff home run to left field from Logan Warmoth in the sixth inning.
UVA put up the eventual winning run in the ninth. Robbie Coman (Gr., Lake Worth, Fla.) drew a leadoff and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Cameron Simmons (So., Royersford, Pa.). UNC went to its closer, Josh Hiatt, but Eikhoff bounced a ball through the right side of the infield, just evading both the first and second basemen, and into right field to plate Coman.
UNC got a one-out double from Kyle Datres in the ninth, but Doyle forced back-to-back groundouts to second base to end the game.
North Carolina scored eight runs in the third inning to break the game open in rolling to a 12-2 victory in the second game.
Virginia starter Evan Sperling (So., Poquoson, Va.) worked 2 1/3 innings and allowed four earned runs, three hits and two walks in taking his first defeat of the season as he fell to 3-1. UNC reliever Austin Bergner (1-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings of work.
UVA picked up nine hits, with Jake McCarthy (So., Scranton, Pa.) recording a pair as well as his ACC-leading 12th stolen base of the year.
North Carolina scored a run in the second a two-out solo home run to right-center by Tyler Lynn, then poured it on in the third by sending a dozen batters to the plate while scoring eight runs. Brian Miller gave UNC a 3-0 lead with a two-run double to right-center, and one out later the Cavaliers brought Bennett Sousa (Jr., North Palm Beach, Fla.) into the game in relief. Six of the next seven Tar Heels reached base safely, capped by a bases-clearing double by Brandon Riley for a 9-0 lead.
UNC added a run in the fourth on Ashton McGee’s RBI single. UVA got two runs back in the fifth on sac flies from Ernie Clement (Jr., Rochester, N.Y.) and Pavin Smith (Jr., Jupiter, Fla.), but UNC matched that in its half of the inning on a solo homer from Miller and another RBI single from McGee.
Virginia returns home at 3 p.m. Tuesday (March 14) to play Monmouth before hitting the road again next weekend for a three-game ACC series at No. 11 Clemson.