Home Honeycutt walk-off single lifts UNC past UVA, 3-2, in 2024 College World Series opener

Honeycutt walk-off single lifts UNC past UVA, 3-2, in 2024 College World Series opener

Chris Graham
uva baseball
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia lost two one-run games in Omaha in the 2023 College World Series. Make it three in a row.

Vance Honeycutt lined a 2-1 slider into left field for the walk-off to lift #4 seed North Carolina to a 3-2 win over UVA in the opener of the 2024 CWS.

It’s not exactly clear here as I write the recap as to why ‘Hoos coach Brian O’Connor had reliever Chase Hungate (7-2, 3.74 ERA) pitch to Honeycutt, who led the Tar Heels with a 1.111 OPS and 26 homers coming into the game.

Honeycutt had been 0-for-4 in the game going into that at bat, which came with two outs and a runner, Jackson Van De Brake, a pinch-hitter who had led off the bottom of the ninth with a slicing liner down the rightfield line that turned into a double, at third.

Hungate started off the sequence with two sliders off the plate, making it appear that he was pitching around Honeycutt, before getting a swing-and-miss on a 2-0 slider.

Virginia starter Evan Blanco took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, before giving up a two-out RBI single to Casey Cook, who had a 3-for-4 day at the plate for UNC.

Blanco gave up two runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds innings, striking out four and walking two.

Virginia had runners on base all game long, but left 10 on base, going 3-for-17 with runners on base and 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

UNC closer Dalton Pence (5-1, 1.92 ERA) got the win in relief, retiring 10 of the 11 batters that he faced in three and a third scoreless innings.

Virginia, for the second straight year, falls into the loser’s bracket. The Cavaliers will face the loser of the Florida State-Tennessee game at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].