UNC baseball falls short to Wake Forest in a classic for the ages

The North Carolina baseball program had a monstrous comeback against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons Friday night, rallying from four runs down to electrify the sold-out crowd and tie the game. But in the end, it was Wake Forest’s comeback in the ninth and then four runs in extra innings to push them through. 

The Demon Deacons outlasted North Carolina for a 9-5 win in 12 innings, eliminating the Tar Heels and moving on in the ACC Baseball Championship.

It was a slow start for the Tar Heels, falling behind early to Wake Forest, giving up two runs in the third and fourth innings while struggling to muster up any runs. To make matters worse for UNC, the demon Deacons followed up in the seventh inning to grab a 4-0 lead.

It was looking like Wake Forest had full control of the outcome, but in UNC fashion, the Tar Heels would swing themselves back into the ball game in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs to find themselves down 4-3.

UNC followed up the late game surge in the bottom of the eighth after holding Wake, adding two more runs to take the lead 5-4, started by a huge double to right center by Vance Honeycutt that brought Jackson Van De Brake in.

Just when the game seemed like it was the Tar Heels for the taking, Wake Forest kept the game alive with first baseman Nick Kurtz doing his best Honeycutt impression with a double to right center RBI of his own to even things, eventually causing extra innings.

It would take three extra innings before a run would be scored, and unfortunately, it wasn’t off the bat from UNC, instead, it was Wake’s Kurtz, who ultimately finished the job with a home run, bringing in Marek Houston in the process. Wake wouldn’t be done, adding two more insurance wins to ultimately win 9-5.

Next up for UNC is finding out what seed and region UNC end up with as they prepare for the NCAA tournament.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire