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12th Inning Balk Hands #23 UNC Baseball Win Over #22 UNC-Wilmington

Trent Thornton struck out pinch-hitter Joe Bertone in the bottom of the 12th inning to close out a 6-5 road win for the #23 UNC baseball team over its top 25 opponent, the #22 UNC-Wilmington Seahawks–with Carolina right-fielder Tyler Ramirez scoring on a balk earlier in the frame to break the tie.

Suddenly the surging Tar Heels find themselves with a solid 26-15 record, as they hand the red-hot Seahawks just their ninth loss of the season, putting them at 28-9 overall.

Thornton (3-4) pitched the final 2.2 innings, all in extras, without allowing Wilmington to record a hit, while UNC-W reliever Justin Crump (0-1) ruined a fantastic bullpen effort by his teammates with his late, game-changing balk coming at the end of a night that looked like it would turn into a slug-fest.

Coming off a strong birthday performance the night before, UNC catcher Korey Dunbar got the ball rolling with a two-out, two-run single off Wilmington starting pitcher Evan Phillips in the top of the first–giving freshman left-hander Hunter Williams a two-run cushion before he had to throw his first pitch.

Brian Miller reached base four times against Wilmington, scoring twice. (UNC Athletics)

Brian Miller reached base four times against Wilmington, scoring twice. (UNC Athletics)

The Seahawks manufactured one run in the bottom of the first, but it looked like that may not be enough with the way Carolina came out swinging the bats.

Skye Bolt’s single in the top of the second scored freshman Zack Gahagan, and was followed by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Landon Lassiter, making it appear as if the Tar Heels were poised to break things open.

Switching pitchers didn’t look like it did anything for UNC-W in the next inning, as reliever Austin Magestro allowed Carolina second baseman Eli Sutherland, who came in to the game batting .197, to double home Dunbar and give the team in light blue its fifth run of the game.

Despite looking unhittable over his last four starts on the mound for the Tar Heels, Hunter Williams couldn’t hold onto the big lead against the toughest lineup he’s faced this year. Wilmington scored three runs in the bottom of the third to close the gap to one–ending Williams’ day after just 2.2 innings, with the big man striking out three, walking three, and being credited with earned runs for all four of the Seahawks’ tallies.

Catcher Korey Dunbar, who had three RBI last night on his birthday, added two more on Wednesday. (UNC Athletics)

Catcher Korey Dunbar, who had three RBI last night on his birthday, added two more on Wednesday. (UNC Athletics)

And in the very next inning, UNC-W catcher Gavin Stupienski got the better of Carolina’s top reliever, senior Trevor Kelley, for a game-tying RBI single to make it a whole new ball-game in the blink of an eye.

From then on, though, the bullpens for both sides settled down immensely.

UNC’s relief duo consisting of freshman Hansen Butler and sophomore lefty Zach Rice surrendered just four hits combined and held the Seahawks scoreless over the next 4.1 innings, while the Tar Heel offense also fell flat–getting just two hits and no runs over the final six regulation frames, ensuring the fans in Wilmington would see some extra baseball.

As both teams continued to put up zeros in the score column, drama ensued in the top of the 11th, when Skye Bolt was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double–ultimately resulting in some arguing, and the ejection of coach Mike Fox.

Despite not scoring in the 11th, the Tar Heels were granted another opportunity in the 12th–resulting in the game winning balk. They were put in the position thanks to the fantastic effort in relief from Thornton, who came on with one out in the tenth, and did not allow a hit the rest of the way, striking out three Seahawks on his way to the victory.

Up Next:

The Diamond Heels return home this weekend as ACC play winds down in 2015, with the Boston College Eagles visiting Boshamer Stadium for a three game series beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Game Notes:

  • Freshman designated hitter Brian Miller, the lead-off man against right handed starting pitchers, led the Tar Heel offense on Wednesday, going 3-5 with a walk, scoring twice.
  • Hunter Williams had allowed just two runs in his last 24 innings pitched for UNC. He allowed four in just 2.2 innings in this game.
  • Carolina head coach Mike Fox has been ejected in two of the last three games, and is now 18-4 all-time against the Seahawks.
  • Wilmington led off five different innings with base-hits.

Diamond Heels Get Back On Track With Seahawk Win

The No.30 North Carolina baseball team put an end to its six-game losing streak with a 9-4 victory over UNC-Wilmington Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium to improve to 16-12 on the season.

With the loss, the Seahawks dropped to 12-14 on their 2014 campaign. It was a tight game until the sixth inning, when Skye Bolt and Adrian Chacon both homered to post three runs for the Tar Heels.

Tom Zengel drove in three runs of his own and eight Carolina players contributed hits to ignite the offense.

Freshman Zac Gallen started on the mound for the second game in a row after not even lasting through the first inning in the finale against Duke on Sunday. Gallen put in a much more efficient performance Tuesday before relinquishing the pitching duties to Reilly Hovis in the fourth.

Hovis improved to 5-1 in relief efforts with 3.1 scoreless innings.

Next up for the Tar Heels is an ACC series at Boston College. First pitch on Friday on is slated for 2:30 p.m.


Struggling Diamond Heels Carry Six-Game Skid Into Tuesday Game

The No. 30 North Carolina baseball team, 15-12 on the season, will be aiming to halt a six-game losing streak Tuesday evening when UNC-Wilmington, owning a 12-13 record, visits Boshamer Stadium for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

The Tar Heels were swept for the first time since 2010 with three losses last weekend on Duke’s campus. UNC-W is coming off a split of two games at James Madison.

Carolina owns a 53-13 all-time series lead over UNC-W, including a 16-4 mark under head coach Mike Fox.

Last season, Coach Fox recorded career victory No. 1200 against the Seahawks.

Tar Heels Ring In New Year In Style, Deliver Seahawk Smackdown

CHAPEL HILL–The No.19 North Carolina men’s basketball team downed UNC-Wilmington  84-51 in the ‘Happy Blue Year’ event in the Dean Smith Center.

***Listen to the recap***

With the win, Carolina improved to 10-3 on the season while UNC-W dropped to 6-9.

The Tar Heels came into this contest with a little more motivation and determination, getting its offense going and delighting the Tar Heel faithful with some electrifying baskets around the rim against the defenseless Seahawks.

The leading scorer for UNC was James Michael McAdoo with 23 points, but J.P. Tokoto thrilled the crowd with stunning aerial assaults on the basket. Tokoto finished with 5 points while Brice Johnson provided a nice offensive boost with 15 points.

The Tar Heels won the opening tip-off, but a J.P. Tokoto jumper fell just short. But he earned a trip to the free throw line on an ensuing possession and netted one of two to score the first points of the game.

Carolina was playing some aggressive defense early on to bog down the Seahawk offense. Nate Britt knocked down a floater to stake UNC to a 3-0 lead with 16:30 on the first half clock.

A foul on McAdoo sent Cedrick Williams to the charity stripe with 15:22 left in the half. And Williams made both.

McAdoo responded with a pair of quick buckets highlighted by an explosive dunk to give UNC a 7-2 lead. Isaiah Hicks joined the scoring fray with a make of his own soon after.

The shared scoring continued as Brice Johnson nailed a solid jumper to extend Carolina’s lead to 12-5 with 11:03 left in the half.

Leslie McDonald slashed one through the nets to give UNC the 14-9 lead with under nine minutes to go in the half. And the Carolina defense continued to play hard, although aided by some poor shooting from UNC-W.

A timeout was called with 7:23 left to go in the half. Carolina was cruising along with a double-up score, 18-9.

McAdoo ran the distance of the floor on a breakway layup that pumped up the quieter than normal Dean Dome crowd. Paige followed that up with a long-range three that found nothing but net to give the Tar Heels a 23-13 lead with 3:40 left in the half.

Williams pummeled his way back to the line for UNCW and made the point after attempt. UNC’s Johnson answered right back with a quick score though, and McDonald drew a foul to put up another point on the scoreboard that then read 26-16 in favor of Carolina.

At the 1:52 timeout, the Tar Heels maintained a 28-16 advantage. UNC was beginning to pick up the offensive pace. Johnson scored inside out of the timeout and drew a foul, converting on the free throw to extend his team’s lead to 15.

At the half, UNC went into the locker room up 31-23. UNC was shooting 40 percent from the floor while UNCW was shooting at a mere 25 percent clip.

James Michael McAdoo was the leading scorer for Carolina at the half with eight points while Cedrick Williams led the way for UNCW with 12 points.

The second half saw UNC increase its intensity level and click on all cylinders offensively with varied plays and a distribution of points throughout the team. Tokoto’s explosive dunk fired up the Dean Dome.

With 12:20 to play in the game, Carolina held a 49-32 lead over Buzz Peterson’s team.

Paige knocked down a shot to stake Carolina out to a wide 51-32 advantage. The lone bright spot for the Seahawks was Williams, who continually forced the action inside.

McAdoo was proving to be a dominant force in this contest as he scored again to give UNC a 57-37 lead. But the loudest roars were reserved for Tokoto with his high-flying, acrobatic slams.

McDonald popped his trademark three to extend the UNC lead out to 64-37 with 7:06 left on the clock.

McAdoo continued his strong play down the stretch, getting to the free throw line and exerting himself inside. Johnson continued to add some offensive support of his own, pushing the Tar Heel lead out to 76-43 with 4:30 remaining in the game.

In the end, Carolina was far too much for the overmatched Seahawks. UNC played like the ACC season was upon them. Carolina faces Wake Forest Sunday.

Click here for box score.

‘Happy Blue Year’ in Smith Center for Tar Heels-Seahawks

CHAPEL HILL– The 9-3 North Carolina basketball team will be looking to polish up its play Tuesday in a 5 p.m. New Year’s Eve match-up with 6-8 UNC-Wilmington.

***Listen to the story***


No. 19 UNC will be welcoming back one of its own in the form of Buzz Peterson, the head coach for the Seahawks. Peterson was a member of the 1982 national championship squad under Dean Smith and then assistant coach Roy Williams.

But Head Coach Roy Williams will not be in the mood to do any favors for Peterson in Carolina’s final non-conference game of the season. He says he was disappointed in the defense and the lack of attacking mentality in the win against Northern Kentucky on Friday.

“I was not pleased defensively, on the backboards or attacking the basket. We had a tremendous size advantage, and one of our goals was to attack the basket. We didn’t get a single low-post up or taking the ball to the basket the entire first half. I was pretty frustrated with that,” Coach Williams says.

Coach Williams says he hopes the cause for the erratic play is immaturity because he knows it can be corrected.

“I hope it is because maturity means that we can get there. Lack of maturity now means that we can get there eventually, so I hope that’s what it is. We are an extremely young club, but also we’ve played 12 games. We’ve got to be able to bring it,” Coach Williams says.

Senior guard Leslie McDonald’s return to the lineup has been a welcome boost to UNC’s outside shooting. Coach Williams says McDonald’s ability to knock down shots will come in handy later in the season.

“Leslie does have an ability to shoot the ball. That really helps us, and it’s hopefully going to help us even more down the line,” Coach Williams says.

Junior forward Desmond Hubert says the Tar Heels need to start playing with the same effort and intensity against the lower-ranked teams in order to establish a consistent identity on the squad.

“We’ve won big games, and then we’ve had a few letdowns. I think our biggest thing is just trying to get our effort. We’re just trying to sustain the same effort that we have in the big games. […] Just because they’re not a top-25 team doesn’t mean that it should be less important. We’re just trying to establish more effort in those games,” Hubert says.

Tuesday’s ‘Happy Blue Year’ game in Chapel Hill will be the third overall contest between Carolina and UNC-W. The Tar Heels lead the series 2-0.

UNC-W Pulls Off Tar Heel Upset

CHAPEL HILL–No. 11 North Carolina dropped a 1-0 decision to UNC-Wilmington Tuesday night at Fetzer Field.

A scoring strike in the 36th minute by UNC-W’s Jordan Cordero proved to be the only goal necessary in the match.

Carolina controlled possession throughout the contest, holding a 16-4 advantage in shots. Missed opportunities became the trend of the night for the Tar Heels – a recurring theme for Carolina all season.

UNC-W only had one shot in the entire second half, but UNC failed to convert on any of their scoring looks.

The loss drops Carolina to 5-3-5 overall and 2-1-5 in the ACC. Next up for the Tar Heels is a trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers on Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

No. 11 Men’s Soccer Set for Seahawks

CHAPEL HILL– No.11 Carolina men’s soccer moves out of conference to take on UNC-Wilmington Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. on Fetzer Field.

Carolina is coming off a 1-0 win over Syracuse last Friday night. The Tar Heels currently reside at 5-2-5 overall and 2-1-5 in the ACC.

The Seahawks claimed an impressive 2-1 road win over Duke on Oct. 1, so the Tar Heels should expect a tough contest.

Tuesday night will serve as Chapel Hill and Carrboro Schools Night. So bring the kids along as local elementary and middle school students can purchase tickets for just $2.

And if you can’t make it over to the match, it will be broadcast live on GoHeelsTV.

No. 1 UNC Baseball Drops First Contest In Last 15

CHAPEL HILL – The No. 1 UNC baseball team’s second longest winning streak of the season was snapped by a team it blanked earlier in the season Tuesday night.

No. 21 UNC Wilmington was 9-2 since the two teams last met in late March and showed that hot streak was no fluke with a 9-8 win over the best team in the country.

The Tar Heels scored two runs in each of the first three innings and looked to be well in control. But then the Seahawks put up six in the top of the fourth with the help from a few walks by the Tar Heel pitching staff and a few hits that found their way into the outfield.

Carolina took the lead back with two more in the bottom of the fourth, but the home team’s scoring would stop there. Wilmington added one in the seventh and two in the eighth to take the lead. Seahawk junior Kelly Secrest was sent to the mound for the last out of the fourth inning and only gave up one hit in the final five and two thirds innings for the win.

With the loss, UNC fell to 39-3; UNCW improved to 31-11. The Tar Heels host Charlotte Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium. You can hear the broadcast in its entirety on WCHL and here immediately following the WCHL Evening News with Aaron Keck.

No. 1 UNC Baseball Shuts Out UNC Wilmington On The Road

WILMINGTON – The No. 1 UNCbaseball team remained undefeated on the road with a shutout win over UNC Wilmington Wednesday night.

Despite leaving eight runners stranded, the Tar Heels took down the Seahawks 10-0 thanks in part to the talented bats of junior third-baseman Colin Moran, junior first-baseman Cody Stubbs, and sophomore second-baseman Mike Zolk. The three Tar Heels each tallied two RBIs and freshman right-fielder Skye Bolt hit his fifth homerun of the season.

Senior right-hander Chris Munnelly took the game for seven innings throwing eight strikeouts and only giving up two hits. Three Tar Heel pitchers saw action Wednesday night and no Seahawks saw a free pass in the shutout.

With the win, Carolina improved to 26-2; Wilmington fell to 21-9. This weekend, the Tar Heels bring their league-leading 9-2 conference record back to this Hill to host the Maryland Terrapins who are 4-8 in league play and are coming off a 6-3 win over the Towson Tigers 6-3 on Wednesday.

First pitch for the Friday-night series opener is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium. You can hear all the action on WCHL immediately following the WCHL Evening News with Aaron Keck.

No. 1 UNC Baseball Looks To Begin Another Winning Streak

CHAPEL HILL – The No. 1 UNCbaseball team steps out of conference play on Wednesday with the hopes of bouncing back from its second loss of the season when it travels to UNC Wilmington.

The Tar Heels dropped the third game of the series against the Clemson Tigers in a 5-4 11-inning decision Monday after taking the first two wins. Monday was a marathon day after UNC and Clemson had to make up the remainder of Sunday’s rain-out. The Tar Heels took the first game of the day 6-2 after starting in the top of the third with a 2-0 lead.

The polls came out Monday morning before Carolina dropped just its second game of the season—the Tar Heels are tied with LSU with the best record in the country. The Tar Heels held a unanimous No. 1 spot across the four polls.

UNC Wilmington could provide a good challenge for Carolina on Wednesday. The Seahawks hold the top spot in the Colonial Athletic Association at 7-1 and are 21-8 overall. They’re currently on a four-game winning streak, including a sweep over conference-opponent Old Dominion and a win Tuesday over the Southern Conference’s College of Charleston.

Senior right-hander Chris Munnelly will get the start. In 15.1 innings, he’s 1-0 on the season with a 1.17 earned run average (ERA). He’s thrown 22 strikeouts compared to just nine walks. The UNC pitching staff has inched two marks closer to the top squad in the land as Arkansas is just 0.02 better in its team ERA at 1.68.

Wednesday’s game between UNC and UNCW is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. You can hear all the action live on WCHL immediately following an abbreviated version of the WCHL Evening News with Aaron Keck.

Game Notes