Tar Heels fall to visiting Coastal Carolina in 11
Coastal Carolina scored three times on a sacrifice fly and two safety squeeze plays and No. 29 North Carolina fell to the Chanticleers 3-2 Wednesday night at Boshamer Stadium. Korey Dunbar hit his third home run of the year in the first but the Tar Heels did not score again after taking a 2-0 lead to fall to 19-14 on the year.
Dunbar’s blast scored Skye Bolt, who continued his hot April with two hits and an outfield assist, and gave Taylore Cherry an early lead to work with. The sophomore righty was effectively wild, tossing five scoreless innings with two just hits allowed before walking the first two batters in the sixth to end his outing.
The walks to Michael Paez and Tyler Chadwick put the tying runs aboard, and the Chants (15-19) loaded the bases when Trevor Kelley’s throw to first on a sacrifice bunt pulled Adrian Chacon off the bag. Zach Rice entered in relief of Kelley and minimized the damage, limiting Coastal to a single run.
Carolina had two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth but failed to score, and Coastal kept coming. The Chants almost tied it in the seventh when Paez singled up the middle off Reilly Hovis. But Bolt unleashed a laser that erased Nick Oberg at the plate to keep UNC ahead.
The Tar Heels led until the ninth, when a leadoff walk - one of six leadoff walks issued by Carolina pitchers - started a Coastal rally. Anthony Marks reached and went to third on a stolen base and a single by Connor Owings. Paez then laid a bunt down the first base line that scored Marks to tie it at 2.
In the top of the 11th, Spencer Trayner (1-2) hit Paez with one out before Chadwick reached on a single after a dropped foul ball. Zach Remillard then bunted back to Trayner, whose throw to Dunbar covering home was a split second late, and Coastal had the lead.
Tyler Poole pitched a 1-2-3 11th - his third scoreless inning of relief - to get the win for the Chanticleers. Lefty starter Dalton Moats allowed two runs in four innings.
Michael Russell had two more hits for Carolina and is now hitting a sizzling .481 in the month of April.
Carolina continues its five-game homestand Friday when the Tar Heels open a weekend series against in-state foe Wake Forest at 7 p.m.