No. 1 Carolina Sweeps Maryland, 8-4
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No. 1 North Carolina (29-2, 12-2 ACC) scored six runs after the fifth inning en route to an 8-4 win over visiting Maryland (16-15, 4-11 ACC) to claim the series sweep in front of a sell out crowd of 4,100.
Maryland jumped out in front, 1-0, in the top of the third inning after starter Hobbs Johnson retired the first seven batters he faced. The Terps picked up a one-out double from Anthony Papio before Papio moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a squeeze bunt.
Cody Stubbs quickly evened the contest back up as he turned on a Kevin Mooney offering for a solo home run to right center field, his third home run of the year.
The Terrapins regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning thanks to a RBI single by Charlie White against Johnson and two-run single by Kevin Martir against reliever Trent Thornton.
The Tar Heels chipped away at the three-run deficit with a RBI ground out in the fifth before taking their first lead of the afternoon in the sixth inning.
The Terps went to the bullpen for left-hander Jamie Pashuck who promptly hit Lassiter with his first offering to force in a run and make the score 4-3 in favor of Maryland.
Pashuck would hit the next batter, Colin Moran, to force in another run and even the score at 4-4. The Tar Heels then played station-to-station baseball when Skye Bolt singled to right field to provide the go-ahead run and Cody Stubbs drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-4 for the Tar Heels.
After Thornton limited the damage to close out the fifth inning, he kept the Terrapins off the scoreboard with a pair of scoreless frames before Maryland threatened in the eighth inning.
Blake Schmit drew a one-out walk and made his way to third with two outs as he advanced a pair of bases on a single by Papio. Thornton was able to get a nice backhand play from Colin Moran at third base for the final out of the eighth inning.
A leadoff walk to Landon Lassiter opened the bottom half of the eighth inning before Colin Moran stepped into the batter's box. Moran had been issued three walks and was hit by a pitch prior to his at bat in the eighth inning but with his first swing of the afternoon he connected on a two-run home run. The home run was Moran's team-leading seventh of the year and put Carolina in front, 8-4.
Thornton blanked the Terps again in the ninth to put a cap on his team-leading seventh win of the year as the Tar Heels claimed their fifth series sweep of the 2013 campaign.
Up next for Carolina is a trip to Elon to take on the Phoenix at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before hosting Liberty on Wednesday at 6 p.m.