Eighth inning helps propel Diamond Heels past Notre Dame

·2 min read

The No. 8 UNC baseball program used a three-run eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and eventually beat No. 8 Notre Dame 7-2 on Saturday, punching their tickets to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game on Sunday.

The Tar Heels bats cooled off a bit early after back-to-back blow out performances in the first two games of the tournament. UNC did match the Irish fight with solid fielding as both teams struggled to find their swing with a sluggish start.

UNC got on the board first in the top of the second inning with Mikey Madej reaching home plate off a fielder choice. Notre Dame tied it up in the third with Jack Branning blasting a 419-foot home run to left field.

In the fifth inning, Notre Dame’s Carter Putz hit a homer of his own to give Notre Dame the 2-1 lead. But UNC responded quickly.

In the sixth inning, the Tar Heels got an RBI double from Hunter Stokely that brought Madej home to even up the score. After a shutout inning in the seventh for both teams, UNC used the eighth inning to punch their ticket.

The Tar Heels got three runs in the eighth, all with two outs, to grab the lead 5-2. Mac Horvath had the go-ahead RBI with a single and then Danny Serretti hit a two-run double toadd to the lead.

They then pitched a scoreless bottom half before adding two more insurance runs in the ninth when Johnny Castagnozzi got a two-RBI single to drop, giving the UNC a 7-2 lead.

UNC will take on the winner of No.10 NC State vs. No.11 Pitt in the ACC Championship game. The Diamond Heels beat NC State in a series earlier this month 2-1 and swept the series against Pitt in early March.

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