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Carolina Baseball Avoids Sweep, Snags Vital 5-4 Win Over No. 4 FSU

By Matt Oakes Posted May 11, 2014 at 6:25 pm

The North Carolina baseball team avoided a sweep at the hands of No. 4 Florida State Sunday at Boshamer Stadium by claiming a 5-4 victory to improve to 30-21 overall and 14-13 in the ACC.

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With the loss, the Seminoles dropped to 39-12 overall and 19-8 in conference.

It wasn’t your typical Sunday baseball series finale for the Tar Heels. It was graduation day, Mother’s day and senior day all wrapped into one.

Top all that off with the fact that a series sweep could have possibly placed Carolina on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, and Sunday’s game had plenty surrounding it. Carolina rose to the occasion.

Tyler Ramirez drove in Parks Jordan with a tiebreaking single in the bottom of the seventh, and the Tar Heels held on for the gritty win.

Unlike the first two games of the FSU series, Carolina converted on putting two men on base in the first inning, cashing in to seize the early 1-0 lead.

The Tar Heels looked to be in firm command up 4-0 in the middle of the fourth inning. But drama would soon ensue.

Carolina freshman starter Zac Gallen ran into trouble in the fifth. The Seminole rally ultimately tied the game at four runs in the sixth inning.

Tar Heel reliever Reilly Hovis was called to the mound to steady the Seminole charge.

Meanwhile, FSU brought in its bullpen ace Gage Smith. The right-hander retired the first seven batters he faced before the Tar Heels were able to break through in the seventh.

Skye Bolt flew out to center, but Jordan was able to advance on the play, and the senior crossed home plate on Ramirez’s clutch two-out, two-strike single to right field.

Now armed with the lead to protect, Hovis, like he has all season long, clamped down. The sophomore allowed just a pair of singles in the final two innings, and he closed out the game in style with a strikeout. It was Hovis’ seventh win of the year.

Reilly Hovis celebrates the win (UNC Athletics)

Reilly Hovis celebrates the win (UNC Athletics)

It was certainly a memorable final home stretch for senior Jordan. Playing in what will likely be his final home games at Boshamer Stadium, Jordan played inspired baseball.

In his swansong to Chapel Hill, Jordan carded a .526 batting average, recorded six RBIs, and scored four runs in five games. He also showed off his versatility by starting in three different positions.

The Tar Heels have now reached the 30-win mark for the 16th consecutive season under head coach Mike Fox.

Next up for Carolina comes a four-game road trip beginning Tuesday at Gardner-Webb. Carolina will then make the trip down to south Florida to face a tough Miami squad in a three-game set.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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