Diamond Heels Sweep Maryland
Carolina completed a three-game sweep of Maryland Sunday with an 8-4 win.
Friday night, Kent Emanuel tossed a no-hitter through 5 1/3 before Jose Cuas belted his first home run of the season. Emanuel would finish with 8 innings of three-hit ball, giving up just two runs while striking out six and walking two. In the ninth, Maryland got two runs off of Pete Hendel and Trevor Kelley before Shane Taylor shut the door with a strikeout.
Offensively, the Tar Heels were paced by Skye Bolt and Cody Stubbs, who had five of Carolina's ten hits and nine runs driven in between them.
Saturday's game was more of a grind-it-out affair. Benton Moss was knocked around for five hits and three runs early. He handed the ball to Tate Parrish in the 4th, and the lefty specialist induced a bases-loaded pop-up to end the inning with the Terrapins on top, 3-2. In the bottom half, five straight Tar Heels reached base to lead off the inning. Parks Jordan tied the game by driving in Cody Stubbs, and Matt Roberts drove in Michael Russell on a dropped fly ball to left. Brian Holberton's RBI groundout gave the Tar Heels a two-run lead at 5-3.
The Carolina bullpen went to work from there, with Shane Taylor, Chris McCue and Trent Thornton combining to keep the Terrapins off the board. A diving catch from centerfielder Skye Bolt took away a potential extra-base hit from Charlie White that would have made things a lot tighter. Thornton earned the save with three outs in the ninth after inheriting a runner on second.
"Our bullpen was sensational," Fox said after game two. "Skye makes an unbelievable catch in centerfield, and we do just enough to get the lead there. The guys really picked Benton up. He wasn't sharp and I thought it was good really for us to play from behind. We have to learn to win games like this, so I think it says a lot about our team that we won a little bit ugly tonight, but we still won."
The Tar Heels would play from behind again on Sunday. Maryland took a 4-1 lead in the fifth when Kevin Martir drove in two on a single just after Hobbs Johnson had given way to Thornton. Carolina was patient at the plate, however, and with one out in the sixth had seven straight reach safely in a four-run inning to take a 6-4 lead. Colin Moran hit a two-run home run in the eighth to make it 8-4, which is how the game would finish.
Scrappy Maryland had not been swept this season in conference series with Virginia, Florida State, Wake Forest and N.C. State, so it's a credit to the Tar Heels that they were able to finish the job. "A couple of big swings of the bat," Fox said afterward. "We got a little lucky - we got a lot lucky, but it just goes to show you how hard it is to win three games and beat somebody in a series, and I thought Maryland really battled us, which they’ve been doing, as we noted playing, everybody close. Kind of the good, the bad the ugly in this game today but we got it done. The bottom line is we got a ‘W.’"
Carolina will travel to Elon for a 6:30 start on Tuesday and return home to face Liberty at 6 on Wednesday. The Liberty game was a late addition to make up the Boston College game canceled due to weather. Admission Wednesday is free.