CHAPEL HILL – The Diamond Heels survived a marathon weekend in Durham to beat Virginia Tech in the finals Sunday, 4-1, capturing the 2013 ACC Championship,
In total Carolina played 50 innings during the tournament, allowing only nine runs.
It’s the sixth ACC title for UNC, the first since 2007. The Heels were already named the ACC Regular Season Champs.
The title game against the Hokies began less than 12 hours after UNC’s 18-inning thriller against N.C. State on Saturday. Just a day before, the Heels made a momentous comeback against Clemson over 14 innings of play.
The Heel’s starting pitcher Sunday was the right-hander Taylore Cherry, standing at 6-foot-8, 270 lbs. The freshman’s 90-pitch performance against the Hokies was more pitches than he’d thrown all year. Prior to Sunday, he’d only made five appearances, pitching just 3.1 innings. Cherry didn’t allow a run to cross home base while on mound for five innings.
In the first inning, ACC Player of the Year Colin Moran and Landon Lassiter— who scored the game-winning run against the Wolfpack— singled to get on base. Freshman outfielder Skye Bolt brought home Lassiter with the RBI, Carolina taking the one-run lead.
Bolt knocked another RBI in the third inning as the Hokies fumbled on a double-play attempt— giving Lassiter the go-ahead to score, putting Carolina up 2-0.
Virginia Tech got its only run of the day in the sixth inning. Carolina got the double play following the score, and right-handed pitcher, Trevor Kelley, settled down to end the threat.
Bolt dropped a sacrifice bunt in the eighth. The throw to get Lassiter out got past the Hokies third baseman, allowing him to score. The Heels moved into the ninth inning up 4-1, and Virginia Tech failed to make a comeback.
With the win, North Carolina improved to 52-8 overall, and 23-7 in conference play.
Official attendance was 8,697, the largest crowd for an ACC title game.
The Heels will host a regional for the eighth time in school history and seventh time in the last eight years. They wait to see who will join them at Boshamer Stadium next weekend when the 64-team field is announced on ESPNU’s selection show at 12 p.m. on Monday.
Play begins Friday, May 31, and runs through Sunday, June 2. A seventh game will be played Monday, June 3, if needed.