Kurtz sparks Wake Forest to 9-5 victory over North Carolina for spot in ACC Tournament semifinals

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nick Kurtz hit a two-run home run to ignite a four-run 12th inning after his two-out RBI double tied the game in the ninth and No. 8 seed Wake Forest defeated top-seeded North Carolina 9-5 on Friday night to advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals.

Wake Forest (38-19) will play No. 2 seed Clemson in the first semifinal on Saturday. No. 6 seed Duke and 11th-seeded Miami square off in the second one. The two winners will play for the championship on Sunday.

The Demon Deacons got the win despite wasting a stellar performance from starting pitcher Chase Burns.

Burns struck out 15 in six shutout innings and left with a 4-0 lead before North Carolina (42-13) rallied against the Wake Forest bullpen.

The Demon Deacons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Marek Houston sent a 2-2 pitch from Tar Heels starter Shea Sprague over the fence in left field.

The lead grew to 2-0 the next inning on a home run to left field by Adam Tellier.

Wake Forest pushed across two more runs in the top of the seventh for a 4-0 advantage. Liam Willson drew a leadoff walk and catcher Cameron Gill, the No. 9 batter, followed with the Demon Deacons' third home run of the game.

Blake Morningstar replaced Burns to begin the seventh and left after walking the only two batters he faced. Will Ray took the mound and allowed three runs to score before striking out Alex Madera with two on to end the inning with a 4-3 lead.

The Tar Heels went ahead 5-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning on Vance Honeycutt's RBI double and a run-scoring single by Parks Harber.

Ben Shenosky (5-3) earned the win by getting the final two outs in the 11th.

Ben Peterson (2-2) took the loss for the Tar Heels, allowing four runs — three earned — on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief.


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