Tar Heels upend No. 30 Liberty at Boshamer Stadium
Adrian Chacon had two hits and an RBI, and four Tar Heel pitchers allowed just one run on four hits as North Carolina beat No. 30 Liberty 3-1 Wednesday night at Boshamer Stadium. Spencer Trayner tossed three scoreless innings of relief for his third win of the year while Reilly Hovis got the final six outs for his fourth save of the season.
Carolina (24-18) opened the scoring for the first time in seven games with a run in the second off Liberty starter Jared Lyons (2-3). Skye Bolt reached on a leadoff walk before stealing second with two down in the inning. Two batters later, Chacon singled through the left side to make it 1-0.
Liberty (32-10), which entered the game with wins in 10 of its last 11 and an RPI of 20, immediately responded with a run in the third. Ashton Perritt walked on five pitches against A.J. Bogucki, stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice. Dylan Allen then hit a grounder to short that was deep enough to score Perritt and tie the game at 1.
But the Tar Heels answered with single runs in the third and fourth to take control. Alex Raburn reached on a one-out walk and moved to second on a Landon Lassiter flyout. Bolt hit a bullet to short that was fielded cleanly by Liberty shortstop Dalton Britt, but Britt fired wide of first, and Raburn scored from second.
Chacon and Michael Russell then teamed up for Carolina's third run, as the freshman singled with one gone in the fourth and scored all the way from first on Russell's two-out double to the gap. The two-bagger was Russell's team-best 15th double of the year and extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
From there, the Tar Heel bullpen kept the hard-hitting Flames at bay, as Trayner, Trevor Kelley and Hovis combined for six scoreless innings of relief. Kelley retired the side in the seventh on just five pitches before Hovis worked the final two frames to seal an important midweek victory.
Carolina will continue its six-game homestand Friday when the Tar Heels welcome Virginia Tech for the first of three league contests.