UNC Baseball: Tar Heels win home opener against Middle Tennessee

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

The UNC baseball program got off to a good start on Friday night with a blowout win over Middle Tennessee State.

Joey Lancellotti allowed two runs over five and a third innings, and struck out five batters, as the North Carolina Tar Heels beat Middle Tennessee State by a final score of 15-3 on opening day at Boshamer Stadium.

Lancellotti also went 2-for-3 at the plate, and knocked in two runs to help his own cause. UNC freshman catcher Eric Grintz went 2-for-5 with two doubles and four runs batted in. Sophomore shortstop Danny Serretti went 2-for-5 at the plate, scoring three runs and knocking in two RBIs. Left fielder Angel Zarate also had a pair of runs batted in over five plate appearances. Four other Tar Heels knocked in one run a piece, including preseason All-American Aaron Sabato, who went 0-for-3 at the plate, but walked twice and scored three runs.

The Tar Heels got 10 hits as a team, and scored all 15 runs across just four innings. After falling behind by a pair of runs in the top of the second inning, they scored three to take a one-run lead going into the third. They got a pair of runs in the third inning, followed by five in the fourth and five in the eighth. Three newcomers — redshirt freshmen Davis Palermo and Austin Elliott, and sophomore Kyle Mott — pitched a hitless three and two-thirds innings combined after Lancelotti left the mound in the sixth.

After taking an early 2-0 lead, Middle Tennessee State scored just one run over the game’s final seven innings. They tallied just two hits on the game, and struck out seven times as a team. The Blue Raiders used six pitchers against the Tar Heels in Game 1, but none made it more than two and two-thirds innings.

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The series will resume on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., and conclude on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Stick with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on the UNC baseball program.