North Carolina makes it two straight with another one-run win over #2 UVA
North Carolina won another pitchers’ duel on Saturday, defeating #2 UVA 2-1 for the Tar Heels’ fifth straight one-win win over the ‘Hoos dating back to 2019.
UVA starter Griff McGarry (0-1, 2.57 ERA) took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits in five innings of work, striking out nine and walking two.
One issue for McGarry was efficiency – he needed 98 pitches to get through five innings.
Another issue was the second straight game of a sputtering offensive attack. The Virginia lineup could manage just five hits on the afternoon.
Max Cotier had two hits and knocked in the lone UVA run with a two-out fifth inning single that plated Logan Michaels, who also had a two-hit day.
The Cavaliers (3-3, 0-2 ACC) put the tying run in scoring position in both the sixth and the seventh innings. Tar Heel reliever Nik Pry inherited runners on first and second with one out in the sixth and struck out the next two batters.
The Cavaliers put themselves into position again to tie it in the seventh after a one-out Michaels single to center and a Chris Newell walk, but Pry once again came out unscathed.
Pry earned the save by pitching the final 3.2 innings and striking out seven batters.
North Carolina plated the first of its two runs of the contest on a two-out RBI single by Johnny Castagnozzi in the second inning. With runners on first and third in the fourth, Tomas Frick broke for second base and on the putout attempt near the bag, Justice Thompson stole home to score what would prove to be the game-winning run.
Virginia will look to salvage the series on Sunday (Feb. 28) with righthander Mike Vasil (1-0) on the mound. He will be opposed by fellow righty Max Alba (1-0).
First pitch in Chapel Hill is slated for 1 p.m. on ACCNX.