Tar Heels move into tie for 6th with win over Tech
Alex Raburn had a career-high three hits and Parks Jordan drove in a pair of runs as North Carolina beat Virginia Tech 6-4 Saturday night at Boshamer Stadium.
Benton Moss allowed four runs on five hits over 7.0 innings for his third win of the year, and Reilly Hovis got the final five outs of the game for his sixth save of the season.
The win leaves UNC in a three-way tie with Wake Forest and Georgia Tech (which both lost Saturday) for the sixth best record in the ACC. The teams with the top six regular-season ACC records get a bye into the double-elimination round of the ACC Tournament May 21-24 in Greensboro. The 7 through 10 seeds must take part in single-elimination play-in games on May 20.
After just five total runs in Friday’s series opener, the offense was on display early on Saturday as both teams scored in the first. Virginia Tech (18-24-1, 7-16 ACC) jumped out in front with consecutive two-out hits from Brendon Hayden and Sean Keselica before Carolina (26-18, 12-11 ACC) did some two-out damage of its own.
Landon Lassiter started the rally against Tech’s Brad Markey (2-6) with a double to right and scored on Tom Zengel’s RBI double. After a Tyler Ramirez walk, Jordan singled home Zengel to square things at 2.
The two starters locked in for the next three innings, as neither team got a runner past second until the fifth.
Tech took a 4-2 lead with more two-out fireworks from Hayden and Keseclia. Moss (3-3) got two quick outs in the top of the fifth before issuing back-to-back walks to Alex Perez and Mark Zagunis. Two RBI singles later it was 4-2 Hokies and Moss was on the ropes. But the junior right-hander got Kyle Wernicki to fly out to right to limit the damage, and the Tar Heel offense took the lead for good in the bottom half.
Raburn, who started at second in place of the injured Wood Myers, led off the frame with a single and moved to third on Michael Russell’s safety to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Bolt and Lassiter then provided consecutive RBI singles to tie the game at 4 before Jordan’s looping liner scored Bolt to give Carolina its first lead of the night.
The Tar Heels added an insurance run in the eighth when Raburn singled home Dunbar, and Hovis took care of business in the ninth for his third save in as many games.
Moss won for the first time since beating Pittsburgh on March 8 as Carolina clinched its fifth conference series of the season. The Tar Heels will go after their first league sweep of 2014 on Sunday when Zac Gallen takes the hill at 1 p.m.