CHAPEL HILL – Late season action continued to plague the No. 2 UNC baseball team as No. 7 UVA delayed a division title for the Tar Heels with a 10-4 decision Thursday night. The win also keeps the division championship alive for the Cavaliers.
The teams that are similar on paper started off step for step. After a 2-2 tie after two innings of play, Carolina jumped out to its first lead in the bottom of the third when senior Chaz Frank scored on a single from junior Colin Moran, and freshman Landon Lassiter crossed home off a fielders’ choice by fellow freshman Skye Bolt.
Virginia followed with two runs of its own, and the floodgates opened. After that pair in the fourth, the Cavaliers scored two in the fifth, one in the sixth, two more in the eighth, and one in the ninth to extend the lead to the final decision of 10-4.
Head Coach Brian O’Connor and the Virginia coaching staff trusted their starter, freshman Brandon Waddell, through the early innings as he threw seven while walking three and striking out two. The Carolina rotation was a different story. Junior Kent Emanuel threw five innings and gave up ten hits, four earned runs, two walks, and struck out six. He was followed by sophomore Trevor Kelley, sophomore Mason McCullough, and junior Shane Taylor.
With the loss, Carolina fell to 46-7, 20-6 in the ACC; Virginia improved to 44-8, 21-7. Game two of the series begins Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium. A Carolina win secures the Coastal Division championship for the Tar Heels, and they can accomplish that in either of the last two meetings of the series. You can hear all the action on WCHL and by clicking here immediately following the WCHL Evening News with Aaron Keck.