CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 20 North Carolina scored five runs in the sixth inning and cruised to a 9-1 win over No. 21 East Carolina Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium in non-conference action. With the win the Tar Heels improve to 31-17 on the season, while the Pirates fall to 30-17-1.
A.J. Bogucki (4-5) picked up the win tossing 4.1 scoreless innings of relief where he allowed three hits, walked three and struck out one. Starter Hunter Williams scattered a pair of hits with a walk and one strikeout in two innings, while Spencer Trayner (1.2 IP, 0 Rs) and Taylor Sugg (1.0 IP, 1 R) worked the final 2.2 innings.
Davis Kirkpatrick (0-3) suffered the loss allowing a run (earned) on three hits with two walks in two innings. From there the Pirates rolled relievers out of the bullpen getting outings from Chris Holba (1.1 IP, 1 R), Sam Lanier (1.2 IP, 1 R), Denny Brady (0.0 IP, 2 Rs), Matt Bridges (0.2 IP, 3 Rs), Evan Voliva (1.1 IP, 2 Hs), Zack Mozingo (0.1 IP, 1 R) and Cam Colmore (0.2 IP, 1 H).
The Tar Heels tallied 12 hits getting multiple base knocks from Brandon Riley (three), Logan Warmoth (three), Zack Gahagan (two) and Tyler Ramirez (two). Ramirez and Warmoth drove in two runs apiece, while Brian Miller (two), Adam Pate (two) and Riley (two) each scored multiple runs.
Seven different Pirates had hits on the night with Ryan Littlefield plating Garrett Brooks for the lone run in the ninth inning. Jeff Nelson (double) and Travis Watkins (single) each extended their hit streaks to five and six games respectively. ECU left 10 runners on base in the game with six sitting in scoring position.
How It Happened:
UNC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to Riley’s RBI single. Miller doubled to right center to start the inning and took third on Warmoth’s infield base hit to third. Riley stepped to the plate and singled to right field easily plating Miller for the Tar Heels first run of the contest.
ECU looked to have its first run of the game in the top of the second that would have made it a one-all ball contest, but a controversial ground-rule double off Nelson’s bat that looked to have scored Luke Bolka from first was called, putting the runners at second and third with two outs. Williams got out of the jam getting Bryce Harman to fly out to center to end the stanza.
Eli Southerland extended UNC’s lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning when he reached on a fielder’s choice. Riley doubled to left center to get things going and took third on Gahagan’s infield single before coming home during Southerland’s at-bat.
Ramirez pushed the Tar Heels lead to three, 3-0, on his eighth home run of the season to right-center on a 3-1 count off of Lanier in the fifth inning.
In the fifth frame, UNC scored five runs on two hits, five walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch putting the game out of reach at 8-0. Warmoth’s two-RBI single that landed just in front of Watkins at the plate scored a pair of runs with the bases loaded.
UNC tacked on one more run in the eighth on Ramirez’ RBI double to left center that plated Pate.
ECU finally scratched across a run in the top half of the ninth on Littlefield’s pinch hit single to left center. Brooks stroked a one-out single to center then took second on a catcher’s indifference and quickly moved to third on a wild pitch. Littlefield took a full-count offer to left pushing across Brooks.
ECU returns to American Athletic Conference action this weekend when it plays host to USF for a three game series at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday, May 13.