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#23 UVa. drops extra-inning duel with #8 UNC

Jacob Stallings hit a solo home run in the 10th inning to lift No. 8 North Carolina to a 2-1 win over the No. 23 Virginia baseball team Friday evening at Davenport Field. The UNC victory snapped UVa’s 15-game home winning streak.

North Carolina upped its record to 25-9 (10-6 ACC), while Virginia slipped to 23-11-1 (9-7 ACC).

The contest was a pitchers’ duel throughout. Both starting pitchers were excellent while receiving no decisions. Virginia starter Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.) worked 6.0 innings while tying a career high with 10 strikeouts. He allowed just an earned run, five hits and three walks. North Carolina starter Kent Emanuel fired 8.0 innings, giving up one earned run, three hits and three walks while fanning seven.

Virginia reliever Austin Young (So., Mechanicsville, Va.) took the loss and fell to 1-1 this year after pitching the 10th inning. Kyle Crockett (So., Poquoson, Va.) threw 3.0 scoreless innings and struck out four. UVa’s pitchers combined to strike out a season-high 16 batters.

R.C. Orlan (6-0) nabbed the win for UNC after tossing a perfect ninth inning. Michael Morin pitched a perfect 10th inning to clinch his ninth save.

Virginia was limited to three hits. Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) doubled and scored a run for the Cavaliers. Michael Russell went 4-for-4 to highlight the Tar Heels’ offense.

The pitchers matched zeroes for the first four innings before the Tar Heels scratched a run across in the fifth inning. Adam Griffin led off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. One out later Chaz Frank walked, and Tommy Coyle followed with a run-scoring single to center.

Virginia did not record a hit until the fifth inning, when Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) grounded a solid single back up the middle. The Cavaliers tied the game in the seventh inning. Bruno hit a leadoff double to left-center, and Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) followed with a walk. Fisher then sacrificed down the third-base line; Michael Russell’s throw took Cody Stubbs into the baseline and he collided with Fisher, which jarred the ball loose and left all hands safe. Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right field to tie the game.

UNC moved ahead in the 10th inning when Stallings ripped a lower liner that just cleared the wall in left-field. It was his third home run of the season.

Game 2 of the series is set for 4 p.m. Saturday, with the finale scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

augusta free press
augusta free press