UNC Baseball: Diamond Heels complete weekend sweep of Duke

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 21: Head coach Mike Fox
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 21: Head coach Mike Fox /

The UNC Baseball team picked up a big three-game sweep of rival Duke over the weekend to get over .500 in conference play

It wasn’t a totally lost weekend for the University of North Carolina. Despite the basketball team dropping out of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, the Diamond Heels earned a big sweep over their rivals this past weekend.

UNC baseball continued to play well in Atlantic Coast Conference play, coming off a weekend in which they took two out of three from Virginia Tech. Since being swept in the opening ACC series of the year at Clemson, UNC is now 7-2 in their last 10 conference games.

The latest series win was a big one.

The Tar Heels were able to sweep a three-game home series against Duke over the weekend, improving to 22-7 overall and 7-5 in conference. While the first two games of the series were decided by one run, the final game was a blowout.

Here is our weekend recap from UNC’s sweep:

Game 1 — UNC 1, Duke 0

The first game of the three-game series was a pitcher’s duel.

Both Duke and North Carolina starters were sharp throughout the game. Duke’s Ben Gross went 6 1/3 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 4. That lone run came in the seventh inning when Dylan Harris hit a sac fly to plate pinch-runner Dylan Einwiller.

The run would be the game-winner as the Tar Heels held on for a 1-0 win.

UNC starter Tyler Baum went 8 2/3’s, coming one out short of a complete game shutout. He gave up just 2 hits, 2 walks and struck out 6 in a dominant performance. Baum is now 5-2 on the year and Austin Love picked up his third save.

Game 2 — UNC 8, Duke 7

Following a thrilling 1-0 win on Friday, the Tar Heels looked to capture the series win on Saturday afternoon.

Things got off to a great start for UNC as they jumped out to a 5-1 lead behind home runs from Dylan Harris and Jackson Hesterlee. With a 5-1 lead going into the seventh, the Tar Heels appeared to be in control.

But Duke fought back.

The Blue Devils scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to grab a 7-5 lead. Duke got their runs on a two-run home run, a double, a wild pitch and a infield hit in what was a weird top half of the inning. UNC responded in the bottom half, plating two runs to tie it at 7.

Then the magic happened. Michael Busch hit a big solo home run with one out in the bottom of the eighth to give the Tar Heels a 8-7 lead. They would hold on to that as Joey Lancellotti pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal it.

Game 3 — UNC 16, Duke 6

The Tar Heels completed the sweep in blowout fashion during Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Devils.

After three scoreless innings, Duke jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth before UNC responded with a three-run bottom frame. From there it was pretty much all Tar Heels.

UNC would go on to to score five runs in the fifth and 8 in the seventh to complete the sweep and get the 16-6 win. Love got the win, improving to 5-1 on the season.

The Tar Heels will host Davidson on Tuesday before traveling to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech in a three-game conference series.

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