CHAPEL HILL, NC – North Carolina jumped in front with a seven-run third inning on its way to a 12-5 victory over Clemson on Sunday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. The top-ranked Tigers, which won the first two games of the series, dropped to 30-4 and 7-2 in the ACC while the 13th-ranked Tar Heels improved to 25-13 and 10-5 in the ACC.
After 2.5 quick innings, North Carolina exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the third. Singles by Rick Braun and Mell Adams led off the frame and North Carolina loaded the bases with none out when B.J. LaMura hit Adam Greenberg, LaMura’s thrid hit batter of the game. Russ Adams followed with a two-run double to short right field and Sean Farrell cleared the bases with a two-run single. After a wild pitch allowed Farrell to advance to second, Head Coach Ryan Childs to the mound.
The bleeding continued, however, as Chris Maples doubled and Chris Iannetta singled to put runners at the corner with still no outs. A potential double play ball was bobbled by Russell Triplett and another run scored. After a wild pitch by Childs, Leggett went to the bullpen again. Patrick Hogan yielded only a sacrifice fly while getting all three outs to end the big Tar Heel inning.
Clemson responded in the top of the fourth by loading the bases with none out after singles up the middle by David Slevin and Kyle Frank and a Khalil Greene walk. That brought up Jeff Baker, who nearly homered on the first pitch of his first at bat. The cleanup hitter cleared the bases in his second at bat with a grand slam to left field for his 13th home run of the season.
North Carolina scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings for a 9-4 lead before the Tigers got back on the board in the seventh. After singles by Jarrod Schmidt and Triplett, Jeff Hourigan fouled off five pitches and then drilled a double in the gap. Schmidt scored but Triplett was thrown out at the plate for the second out of the inning. Collin Mahoney struck out to end the inning and the Tiger threat.
The Tar Heels added three runs in the eighth to cap the scoring. On the day, seven Tar Heel batters had two hits while no Tiger had more than one hit.
North Carolina starter Daniel Moore (4-1) earned the win while LaMura (3-1) got his first loss of the year for Clemson. The Tigers will host Western Carolina Tuesday at 7:15 PM before playing South Carolina on Wednesday at 7:15 PM at Doug Kingsmore Stadium
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