The North Carolina Tar Heels (29-17, 11-11 ACC) move into their off weekend on a high note after their victory over no. 14 East Carolina.
Carolina snapped their three-game losing streak against ECU and won an important road game versus a ranked opponent.
The Tar Heels return to action next Tuesday in Chapel Hill against Gardner-Webb.
UNC is not ranked in the national polls.
On Tuesday night, Carolina hosted no. 13 Campbell. Coming into the game, the Camels had already crossed the 30-win mark on the season.
After a scoreless first, Campbell hit a two-run home run in the second to start the scoring.
In the bottom half of the inning, freshman Carter French made an immediate impact in his first collegiate start with an RBI single to center.
The Camels reclaimed their two-run lead in the third with a two-out RBI single through the infield.
After Vance Honeycutt stole third and Mac Horvath stole second, Hunter Stokely’s two-run single through the right side tied the game. In the next at-bat, Tomas Frick homered to left to put the Heels up two.
The next three innings were scoreless. In the seventh, Campbell hit a two-run home run to tie the game.
Carolina could only muster a walk in the seventh, and Casey Cook was stranded on third in the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, two costly mistakes by junior righty Matt Poston were the difference-maker in the game. With runners on first and third, Poston hit a batter to load the bases. Poston hit the next batter to plate a runner.
Carolina had a chance in the bottom of the ninth with two on, but a double-play ended the game in a 6-5 loss.
There was no time to dwell on that tough loss with a trip to Greenville the next day. UNC faced off against no. 14 ECU for the third time this season and was seeking their first win in three matchups.
This was a pitcher’s duel from the start. The first three innings were scoreless; each team left just one man on base during the game’s first third.
In the top of the fourth, Honeycutt hit a solo shot to left field for the game’s first run.
ECU responded with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game.
After a scoreless fifth in which each team left two runners stranded, the Heels loaded the bases in the sixth. Stokely beat out the double play attempt by the Pirates, and Jackson Van De Brake scored on the fielder’s choice.
The bottom of the sixth was the final time ECU would leave anyone on base.
Max Carlson entered in the bottom of the seventh and shut down the Pirates. After walking the second batter faced, who was subsequently caught stealing, Carlson retired the next seven batters in order.
Carlson did not allow a hit over the final three innings and earned his first career save. Carlson, starter Connor Bovair, and Dalton Pence put together one of the best pitching performances of the season. The trio allowed just one run, four hits, and three walks in the 2-1 victory.
Below are the individual leaders for UNC:
Batting (minimum 2 PA/G and 75% of games played):
- Batting average: .338 - Hunter Stokely
- Slugging percentage: .726 - Mac Horvath (8th in ACC)
- Home runs: 19 - Mac Horvath (2nd in ACC)
- RBI: 56 - Mac Horvath (4th in ACC)
- Hits: 58 - Mac Horvath
- Runs: 54 - Mac Horvath (4th in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .471 - Jackson Van De Brake
- Stolen bases: 21 - Mac Horvath (1st in ACC)
Pitching (minimum 1 IP/G):
- ERA: 4.11 - Connor Bovair
- Strikeouts: 61 - Max Carlson
- Innings pitched: 65.2 - Connor Bovair (2nd in ACC)
- Wins: 4 - Connor Bovair
- Saves: 5 - Kevin Eaise (8th in ACC)
- Opposing Batting Average: .236 - Connor Bovair