No. 2 Heels Fall To Virginia In Extras
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Colin Moran tied the UNC single-season record for RBIs with 83 but the second-ranked Tar Heels fell to No. 7 Virginia in 11 innings, 8-7, Saturday afternoon at a sold out Boshamer Stadium. After falling behind 8-4 in the top of the 11th, Carolina rallied for three runs in the bottom half before a leaping catch by Virginia's Mike Papi led to a double play that ended the game.
Virginia (45-9, 22-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) struck for three runs in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 deadlock. The Tar Heels struck for two runs in the eighth inning before Moran tied the contest at 4-4 with a RBI single to right center field that forced the game into extra innings.
Both teams went in order in the 10th inning before Virginia took advantage of a Tar Heel miscue to score four runs in the top of the 11th inning.
Carolina would not go quietly as the Mike Zolk and Parks Jordan opened the bottom of the 11th with back-to-back singles as the lineup rolled over for the Tar Heels. Chaz Frank was able to beat out a double play ball to put runners on the corners for Landon Lassiter.
Lassiter hit a ground ball to the third baseman that was mishandled and then thrown of the target at first as UNC pulled within three at 8-5.
Moran then delivered his fourht hit of the afternoon and third RBI to tie the UNC record when he split the outfielders in right center to score Frank and keep runners on the corners. Skye Bolt stepped in as the game-winning run and sent a deep fly ball to left field that was caught at the wall by left fielder Mike Papi.
Lassiter tagged from third base and trotted home but pinch runner Michael Massardo was off on contact and was doubled up at first base for the game's final out.
The series loss was the second straigth for the Tar Heels, who had not suffered back-to-back series losses since 2011.
Carolina starter Hobbs Johnson surrendered a run in the first inning before settling in for the Tar Heels. After getting a ground out for the final out of the first, Johnson mowed down the Cavalier lineup.
Johnson posted six straight 1-2-3 innings after the shaky first as he retired 19 consecutive batters to keep the Tar Heels in the contest.
Five different Tar Heels were responsible for 13 hits with Moran leading the way as he matched a season high with four hits. Landon Lassiter chipped three hits, while Chaz Frank, Mike Zolk and Parks Jordan all finished with two hits apiece.
The Tar Heels will look to bounce back Monday night when Florida State visits Boshamer Stadium for a non-conference contest set for 6 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU.