By Dalton Ray —
Eighth-ranked baseball downed No. 13 North Carolina 5-4 in Louisville’s ACC opener.
Sophomore Logan Wyatt scored the game-winning run, stealing home on a passed-ball in the bottom of the eighth inning. He went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Junior Adam Wolf started the game, going 6.0 innings with seven strikeouts and two earned runs.
UNC put two runners on in the top of the first, but Wolf’s strikeout ended the threat. They left another pair on base in the second, but scored two in the inning.
Louisville didn’t get their first hit until the third inning, but left runners on the corners.
Wolf didn’t let the two-run second inning shake him, retiring 11 straight batters from the third to fifth inning.
Louisville loaded the bases in the sixth, starting with junior Josh Stowers’ lead-off double. Wyatt rocked a shot to the right field fence, bringing all runners in for a 3-2 lead.
Freshman Bobby Miller replaced Wolf in the seventh inning. Miller hit a batter then walked two, loading the bases and was replaced by freshman Michael Kirian.
Kirian walked his first batter and North Carolina tied the game at 3-3. With a full count and two outs, Kirian closed the UNC at bat with a strikeout.
In the seventh inning, a single to right field was just enough for sophomore Tyler Fitzgerald, who barely beat the throw home for the score. North Carolina ended the seventh inning on a double-play with bases loaded.
UNC’s Brandon Matorano cranked a home run on the first pitch of the eighth inning, tying the game at 4-4.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the inning, Wyatt stole home on a wild pitch. Matorano attempted to make the play at the plate, but went in between Wyatt’s hands and couldn’t make the play.
On the next at bat, Lavey attempted to steal home as well. Lavey attempted to run over Matorano at the plate, but the Tar Heel stood his ground and recorded the out. Matorano didn’t like Lavey’s attempt and the two had an exchange that led to the Cardinals leaving the dugout.
The coaches and umps quickly controlled the situations and there were no ejections.
UNC stayed alive in the ninth with an error in right field that allowed the runner to reach second. A sac-fly pushed the runner to third, but a flyout on the next at bat ended the threat.
Game two is Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal