After a late-inning collapse in the opener, the North Carolina Tar Heels rebounded with two straight wins to earn a series victory in the first weekend of the 2023 season.
Here are the recaps from the weekend series against Seton Hall.
Seton Hall started the scoring in the top of the first with a RBI single. All was quiet through the rest of the first third until a scoring burst in the middle three innings.
The Pirates extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth, but the Tar Heels got two back in the bottom half of the inning.
Seton Hall scored three in the top of the fifth to stretch their lead to 6-2. Once again, Carolina responded — Mac Horvath hit the first home run of the season for UNC and another RBI pulled Seton Hall back within two.
Goodbye, baseball! ⚾ Great way to start the bottom of the 5th!— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 17, 2023
The Pirates added another run in the top of the sixth, but this time Carolina had a big rally in response.
Horvath tallied two more RBIs to start the UNC scoring in the bottom of the sixth.
Check out Horvath's 2nd and 3rd RBIs of the day as the Diamond Heels inch closer to tying this game up in the 6th!— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 17, 2023
Casey Cook drew a walk with the bases loaded to score a run, and then Austin Hawke’s sac fly gave UNC the lead.
Hawke with the perfect sac fly RBI to give us our first lead of the game!— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 17, 2023
After a scoreless seventh, the wheels fell off for Carolina. The Pirates scored three in the eighth, and UNC managed just one hit in four scoreless innings versus Seton Hall’s closer.
Carolina dropped the season opener 10-8.
The Saturday game started much like the opener. Seton Hall scored two in the top of the first to take an early lead.
In the bottom of the third, UNC had a two-out rally that would give them enough runs to go the distance.
Hunter Stokely started the scoring with a RBI single, and then Cook drove two in on a single to right.
Cameron Padgett was the star of the game. The righty freshman from Salisbury came in during the fourth and threw four and a third shutout innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out three.
Tomas Frick and Eric Grintz each had three RBIs, and Horvath crossed the plate three times in the eventual 11-2 victory.
Game two highlights! pic.twitter.com/h3ijhzAkXO— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 19, 2023
In the deciding game of the series, the second inning was all the offense that was needed for UNC.
Junior college transfer Jackson Van De Brake hit a three run home run in his second plate appearance as a Tar Heel. Later in the inning, Vance Honeycutt’s triple brought in another run.
Van De Brake’s trip around the bases. pic.twitter.com/EVInNUIC0n— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) February 19, 2023
Seton Hall scored two in the fourth, but after Connor Bovair was relieved, the Carolina bullpen finished the job.
Dalton Pence, Justin Szestowicki, and Ben Peterson went the final five and a third innings. Each pitcher allowed one hit each and did not allow a run. Pence struck out four, while Peterson struck out three.
Carolina clinched the series with a 4-2 win.
The Tar Heels host Radford this afternoon at 4:00 PM and Longwood Wednesday at 4:00 PM.