Heels Survive 18-Inning Thriller Against NC State
CHAPEL HILL – The UNC baseball team advanced to the ACC tournament title game after it battled in the longest game of Carolina history and defeated NC State Saturday night in nine extra innings, 2-1.
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when NC State senior third baseman Grant Clyde doubled off the wall and drove home senior outfielder Tarran Senay.
UNC freshman right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton came in to replace starter junior left-handed pitcher Hobbs Johnson after the run. Hobbs recorded nine strikeouts after just 5.1 pitched innings.
It wasn’t until the top of the seventh that senior first baseman Cody Stubbs had the first hit of the night for the Tar Heels.
Sophomore second baseman Mike Zolk tallied the first run for the Tar Heels in the top of the eighth off of a throwing error by the Wolfpack to tie the game 1-1.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Chris McCue replaced Thornton in the bottom of the 13th. Thornton finished after 6.2 pitched innings, seven strikeouts, and 91 pitches.
Finally, in the top of the eighteenth Stubbs singled to center field, which allowed Lassiter to run in from third to break the long tie. The Wolfpack failed to make a comeback throughout the bottom of the eighteenth inning.
With the win, North Carolina improved to 51-8 overall, and 22-7 in conference play. NC State fell to 44-14, 19-11.
The attendance at the game reached an all time state high to watch a college baseball game with 11,392 fans, which broke the old record of 10,229.
Carolina will take on Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday in the ACC Championship game. The last title appearance for the Tar Heels came in 2007 where Carolina claimed its fifth ACC tournament title.