North Carolina scored seven runs over the seventh and eighth innings, turning a close game into a rout as the No. 15 Tar Heels ran away to a series sweep over the Pitt Panthers with a 9-2 victory on Sunday.
Pitt played even with the Tar Heels through six and a half innings, but North Carolina took advantage of the Panthers’ bullpen, starting in the seventh, when Carolina catcher Tomas Frick hit a two-run double to break open what had been a tied game and give UNC the lead for good.
The two runs in the seventh came against Pitt reliever Baron Stuart (1-2). In the eighth, it took three pitchers to get through the frame as Pitt walked four straight batters and then yielded three consecutive RBI singles. Five runs scored in the inning, two charge to freshen Quin Konuszewski, two to C.J. McKennitt and one to Dylan Lester.
The rough finish wasted a solid performance by starter Billy Corcoran, who worked six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. Corcoran struck out just two, but induced two double plays to help clear the base paths.
The Panthers staged a two out rally in the eighth to try to stem the tide after Carolina had pulled ahead. Tatem Levins singled and Ron Washington Jr. drew a walk to chase Tar Heels reliever Kyle Mott (4-0) from the game. Shawn Rapp entered and struck out Kyle Hess to end the threat. Rapp struck out three Panthers in the ninth around a single and a walk to finish the game.
Pitt’s two runs came on a Sky Duff home run in the fifth inning that scored Brock Franks.
.@Sky_Duff3 first homer of the year puts us on top!
— Pitt Baseball (@Pitt_BASE) March 13, 2022
The loss moves the Panthers to 8-7 on the season, and 0-3 in the ACC. The Panthers’ next game is their home opener against Bucknell at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 at Charles L. Cost Field.