Five Tar Heels hit home runs powering the North Carolina Tar Heels past the Liberty Flames 16-1 in Game 4 of the NCAA Chapel Hill, N.C. Regional at Boshamer Stadium. No. 1 seed and regional host North Carolina never trailed in the contest, scoring nine of its runs in the contest by way of home run.
Tar Heels pitching held No. 3 seed Liberty without a run through the first eight innings.
Liberty falls to 43-20 and drops into an elimination game tomorrow against the Tennessee Volunteers. North Carolina moves 44-17 and will face the winner of Liberty and Tennessee tomorrow evening with a chance to move on to a Super Regional.
Box Score Highlights Records: North Carolina (44-17); Liberty (43-20) Location: Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium) Attendance: 3,625 WP: Hansen Butler (5-0)| LP: Andrew McInvale (10-3)
Scoring Summary UNC – 2nd INNING – Harris homers, 1-0 UNC – 4th INNING – Harris singles, Serretti scores, 2-0 UNC – 6th INNING – McGee homers, Freeman scores, 4-0 UNC – 7th INNING – Busch homers, Tessar scores, 6-0 UNC – 7th INNING – Sabato homers, 7-0 UNC – 7th INNING – Martorano homers, Harris and Freeman score, 10-0 UNC – 8th INNING – Freeman doubles, Busch scores, 11-0 UNC – 8th INNING – McGee singles, Freeman and Serrati scores, 13-0 UNC – 8th INNING – Enwiller singles, McGee scores, 14-0 UNC – 9th INNING – Inclan flies out, Zarate scores, 15-0 UNC – 9th INNING – Harris singles, Hesterlee scores, 16-0 LIBERTY – 9th INNING – McDyre flies out, O'Connor scores, 16-1
Notable Numbers - North Carolina outhit Liberty, 16-6, in the contest. The Flames committed the game's only error.
- Each team left the bases loaded in the contest. Liberty left the bases loaded in the third, while North Carolina left the bases filled in the fifth.
- North Carolina turned three double plays during the first four innings.
- Liberty starting pitcher Andrew McInvale kept the Flames in the game through the first six innings. He allowed four runs on five hits. The right-hander struck out four and walked two.
- The Tar Heels posted a season-high for home runs in the game. Center fielder Dylan Harris, second baseman Ashton McGee, first baseman Michael Busch, designated hitter Aaron Sabato and catcher Brandon Martorano each hit a home run in the contest. Sabato set the North Carolina program record for home runs by a freshman with 16.
- North Carolina's Harris had a game-high three hits and three RBI.
Turning Point Trailing 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the first two Flames walked to open the inning. Left fielder Gray Betts and catcher Jonathan Embry drew bases on balls from Love. However, the right-hander rebounded, retiring the next three Liberty batters to end the scoring threat.
Beyond the Box Score - North Carolina has won two of its three meetings with Liberty, this season. Both victories came at Boshamer Stadium.
- After singling in the fourth, first baseman Logan Mathieu has at least one hit in each of his last six games. The hit streak ties his season-high. He has also reached base in 23 consecutive games.
- Betts has reached base in seven of his 10 plate appearances in the regional. He has three hits, walked three times and been hit by a pitch.
- Embry singled and walked twice in the contest to extend his reached base safely streak to career-high 19 games.
Up Next Liberty faces Tennessee in an elimination game tomorrow at Boshamer Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.