March 21, 2015
TECH STARTERS: Spingola/CF, Innis/LF, Johnson/RF, Murray/DH, Gonzalez/3B, Smith/1B, Justus/SS, Bailey/2B, Pabst/C, Pitts/SP.
UNC STARTERS: Lassiter/DH, Miller/DH, Gahagan/1B, Bolt/CF, Ramirez/RF, Warmouth/SS, Dunbar/C, Raburn/3B, Sutherland/2B, Moss/SP.
No. 18 North Carolina got a strong start from Benton Moss and claimed the rubber-game of an ACC series Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium by beating No. 21 Georgia Tech, 5-1.
Earlier Saturday, Tech got a walk-off single from Thomas Smith to beat the Heels, 6-5.
The Yellow Jackets slipped to 16-7 overall and 5-4 in the ACC with their first weekend series loss of the year, while the Tar Heels improved to 14-9, 5-4.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
North Carolina struck for an unearned run in the first and regained the lead for good in the second thanks to Korey Dunbar’s second homer of the series.
Moss did the rest, pitching six strong innings and scattering nine hits with one run and eight strikeouts.
Trent Thornton tossed the final three scoreless innings to nail down his fourth save and give Moss the win (3-0).
Keenan Innis was 3-for-4, while Matt Gonzalez and Kel Johnson each had two of Tech’s nine hits.
Gonzalez’s RBI single tied the game in the bottom of the first.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Daniel Spingola singled in the fifth inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Cole Pitts gave the Jackets a five-inning start and turned the 2-1 game over to the bullpen. He was on the hook for two runs (one earned) with one walk and three strikeouts would absorb the tough-luck loss and fell to 0-2.
Johnson, Tech’s leading hitter, left the game after colliding with UNC first baseman Zack Gahagan after beating out an infield single in the fifth inning. Following the game, it was announced Johnson suffered an ankle injury that would be re-evaluated by Tech’s doctors on Monday.
Johnson has hit in 13 of his last 14 games, including multi-hit efforts in nine of them.
The series win by North Carolina is the first over Tech since the 2009 season.
“Theyout-pitched us. They have some very good pitchers and at the end of the day, we were probably fortunate to win one of the games. We played hard and we took advantage of an opportunity to win the first game and Thomas Smith had a huge hit to win it. Second game today we just made it too easy for them to score and we struggled with runners in scoring position. We just ran out of gas. We did a lot of nice things to get back in the game last night and then had to expend a lot of energy to get back in the first game today after being down 5-0.”
–Head Coach Danny Hall
UP NEXT: Tech remains home Tuesday night to host Auburn. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and the game is live on ESPN3.