March 28, 2009

Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Mike Cavasinni's two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to the be the difference for No. 5 North Carolina in a 4-3 series-opening win over No. 8 Virginia Friday at Boshamer Stadium. Brian Moran struck out the only two batters he faced in the eighth to earn his second win, and Colin Bates dodged two singles in the ninth to nail down his fourth save for the Tar Heels (19-5, 6-3 ACC).

Due to the threat of rain later in the day Saturday, UNC and UVA will play game two of the series at 1 p.m.

All-America right-hander Alex White went a season-best 7 1/3 innings and matched a season-high with nine strikeouts. He scattered seven hits and three walks before giving way in the eighth to Moran (2-1), who fanned two to strand a runner in scoring position. Bates induced a key double play ball in the ninth and got pinch hitter Scott Silverstein to ground out to end the game.

Ben Bunting and Garrett Gore each had two hits for Carolina, and Mark Fleury scored twice to lead the offense. Kyle Seager singled in the fifth to extend his current hitting streak 14 games.

Phil Gosselin was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a solo home run, and Jarrett Parker was 2-for-3 with a homer for the Cavaliers (21-3, 5-3 ACC).

Virginia starter Danny Hultzen was also sharp with just one earned run allowed over seven innings but did not figure into the decision. He struck out eight and allowed six hits and five walks. Tyler Wilson (4-2) allowed two runs in the eighth to take the loss.

With UNC trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, Cavasinni tripled over the head of Virginia left fielder John Barr to score the game-tying and go-ahead runs. Gore started the rally with a leadoff double down the right field line, and Fleury followed with a walk to put two on for Cavasinni, who tripled for the second time this week.

Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the first when Parker sent White's first pitch of the night out to left for his fifth home run. Gosselin followed with his first double, but White settled down from there to set down the next three and strand Gosselin at second.

Carolina tied the score in the second with Fleury singled and scored on a Tyler Cannon throwing error and took the lead in the third when Bunting drew a leadoff walk and scored from third on a two-out RBI single to left by Gore.

The Cavaliers' second homer of the night tied the score at two in the sixth when Gosselin led off the inning with a solo shot to right for his third round-tripper of the season and a 2-2 score.

Virginia went in front in the top of the eighth when Parker walked and scored when Gosselin doubled off the wall in center field to end the night for White. Moran then struck out the next two batters to set up Cavasinni's heroics in the bottom of the inning.

With the nine strikeouts, White moved past Daniel Bard and Derrick Manning into 10th place on the Tar Heels' career list with 241.