No. 19 North Carolina (39-17) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning on a bases loaded hit by pitch in a 3-2 victory over Virginia (32-23) in Pool Play of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night (May 22). It marked the third, one-run victory for the Tar Heels over the Cavaliers this season.
DURHAM, N.C. – No. 19 North Carolina (39-17) scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning on a bases loaded hit by pitch in a 3-2 victory over Virginia (32-23) in Pool Play of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night (May 22). It marked the third, one-run victory for the Tar Heels over the Cavaliers this season.
The Cavaliers found themselves trailing 2-0 over seven innings and nearly mounted their 22nd comeback win of the season. Senior Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.) cut the North Carolina lead in half with a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning off North Carolina ace Tyler Baum. It was Eikhoff’s third long ball of the season and eighth of his career.
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Sophomore Tanner Morris (Crozet, Va.) extended his reached base streak to 15 games when he drew a lead-off walk in the top of the eighth inning. Freshman Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.) moved him over with his 12th sacrifice bunt of the season, the most in the ACC. Sophomore Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) delivered the game-tying RBI with a single through the right side that scored Morris.
Virginia placed a runner on base in each of its last four turns at the plate. In the bottom of the ninth, the Cavaliers loaded the bases thanks to base hits by Eikhoff and Jack Weiller (Katonah, N.Y.) followed by a hit by pitch earned by Logan Michaels (DeForest, Wis.).
North Carolina reliever Joey Lancelotti retired the next two batters to end the Virginia threat in the top of the ninth. Lancelotti pitched the final 2.2 innings and was credited with his fifth win.
Sophomore Andrew Abbott (Halifax, Va.) did some clutch pitching of his own out of the Cavalier bullpen. The lefthander fanned five batters and matched a career-high with four innings pitched. He stranded Tar Heel runners in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings with strikeouts to end the frame.
Working on four days rest, Cavalier starting pitcher Chesdin Harrington (Montpelier, Va.) turned in another solid performance. The right-hander matched a career-high with eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings pitched. He faced only 10 batters over his first three innings of work and took a no-decision.
The loss prevents Virginia from advancing out of Pool D. The Cavaliers will play fourth-seeded Miami on Thursday (May 23) at 3 p.m.
• Virginia dropped to 6-8 in one-run games this season, 11 of them have come against ACC opponents, three against North Carolina.
• The extra-inning contest was the second of the year and second in the last six days for Virginia.
• The Cavaliers have fell behind in each of the last seven games in which they own a 5-2 record.
• Cavalier pitchers combined to strikeout 13 batters, the 22nd time this season they have struck out 10 or more batters.
• Kent extended his reached base streak to 15 games and his hit streak to 12 games with a single in the first inning. He also moved into a tie for the team lead with his 16th stolen base.
• Morris who scored the game-tying run in the eighth inning has scored a run in each of the last 12 games.
• Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.) took an extra base hit away from Ike Freeman in the second inning with his third outfield assist of the season.