UNC Baseball: Tar Heels lose to Hawkeyes on walk-off home run

UNC baseball falls to Iowa Hawkeyes on walk-off home run, loses for fourth time in last five games

The Tar Heels had a 4-0 lead over the Hawkeyes with just a half inning to play, but the North Carolina bullpen surrendered four runs in the ninth and a walk-off home run in the 10th, and lost by a final score of 5-4 at the CambriaCollegeClassic in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Saturday evening.

Joey Lancellotti pitched an absolute gem for the Tar Heels, going for seven innings of one-hit baseball. He stuck out six Hawkeyes, walked just two and didn’t allow a single run before leaving the game after 24 batters faced and 81 pitches thrown. North Carolina led by three runs when he left the game, and added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, though, it just wasn’t enough to avoid their fourth loss in the last five games.

Sophomore reliever Austin Love came in and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but then gave up four runs on five walks in the ninth. With the game tied at the end of regulation, North Carolina and Iowa took to extra innings, where the Tar Heels promptly loaded the bases in the top of the 10th. They stranded all three runners, however, and wouldn’t get another shot at the plate on Saturday.

With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, and the game looking like it was headed further into extra innings, Iowa’s Austin Martin hit a solo home run to left field, giving the Hawkeyes the victory. It was Martin’s only hit of the game, and one of just three on the day for Iowa. Hawkeyes starting pitcher Grant Judkins gave up three runs on five hits in six innings, and Trenton Wallace gave up an additional run in the ninth. Reliever Grant Leonard got the victory.

North Carolina got eight base hits on the day, including two each from senior center fielder Dylan Harris and sophomore left fielder Angel Zarate. Preseason All-American Aaron Sabato got the Tar Heels on the board in the first inning with an RBI double. He went 1-for-3 on the day with a walk, a run scored and a run batted in. Three Tar Heels — Harris, Zarate and Will Stewart — had a triple in Saturday’s game.

The Tar Heels close out their three-game Minnesota road trip with an 11:00 a.m. game against the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday morning.

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