Tar Heels Sweep Hatters
The Stetson Hatters made it a challenge and maybe even rattled a cage or two in Chapel Hill. In the end it will be North Carolina heading out on the Road To Omaha. The Tar Heels took their three game series in two with wins on Friday and Saturday over Stetson.
On Friday, it was all about the long ball in the opener as Cody Roberts cranked out a three run homer in the fifth to break a tie. In the seventh, Michael Busch notched a two run hit to close the lid on Stetson.
What’s different for the Tar Heels in post season play? Consider that the team only nailed 49 home runs in their first 56 games and thus far they’ve hit six in four games.
The Hatters were by no means an easy win either as they entered the series with the nation’s best team ERA (2.50). Add to that, Stetson had not allowed a home run in 46 games.
Are the Heels on to something as they head to the men’s College World Series?
Tar Heels Sweep Hatters – The Clincher
With a win in the opener the Tar Heels provided themselves some breathing room. Stetson wasn’t going to let that become much more than one deep breath as the teams met for Game 2 of the Super Regionals.
Coach Mike Fox looked to his pitching staff to help put a wet blanket on Stetson and he got what he ordered. Once again, it was the hitting that came through in the end to help lock up the critical win.
In the first, Kyle Datres got the steam rolling with a single. Then Cody Roberts delivered a double to bring Datres around the plates. Brandon Riley’s double sent Roberts home and upped the ante for the Tar Heels.
Up next, Ike Freeman singled which put Riley in scoring position. Next, Zack Gallaghan’s left field single moved Riley home. Finally, Ashton McGee’s double into left center field sent Freeman across the plate to make it a 4-0 North Carolina lead.
Stetson wasn’t sitting on their hands as they came out in the second inning. The Hatters delivered a home run bringing the score to 4-1. The Hatters would also deliver two more runs in the third, as would North Carolina to make it a 6-3 game.
Tar Heels Sweep Hatters – Holding Off Stetson
For North Carolina, Brandon Martorano doubled and a Datres single put him on third. A squeeze play by Roberts brought Martorano across the plate to up the score, 7-3 in the sixth.
The Hatters cranked out another homer in the seventh to keep the game interesting at 7-4.
By the ninth, looking down the barrel of a long ride home, Stetson found their second wind with a double from Mike Spooner that cut into North Carolina’s lead, 7-5. The Hatters had runners on first and second and Brooks Wilson at the plate as the go ahead run. Wilson connected and ripped a solid hit to centerfield. The Tar Heel’s Brandon Riley went to the warning track for the game saving snag to put an exclamation point on the Heels sweep of the series.
Brett Daniels, Coden O’Brien and Josh Hiatt all delivered at critical junctures in the game from the plate. Ultimately, O’Brien picked up the win and Hiatt the save for North Carolina.
The Road To Omaha – The Bracket
What’s next? The Tar Heels head to their first College World Series since 2013, their seventh since 2006. North Carolina and Oregon State are the first two teams to clinch a spot in the brackets.
The other ACC team in the Super Regionals, Duke, dropped their opening game to Texas Tech, 6-4. The Blue Devils will get a redemptive shot Sunday (June 10) at 6:00pm ET. Today’s game is available on ESPNU. If necessary, Game Three will be played on Monday (June 11) at 4:00pm ET.