June 6, 2010

Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics

NORMAN, OKLA. --- Jacob Stallings matched a career-best three hits and Seth Baldwin ripped a three run home run to lead North Carolina over Oral Roberts 12-4 Sunday afternoon in game five of the Norman Regional at L. Dale Mitchell Park. The Tar Heels improve to 38-21 and advance to face Oklahoma later tonight.

Chris Munnelly (3-2) earns the victory allowing just three runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Relievers Greg Holt, Zach Bernard, Cody Penny and Nate Striz combined to render just one run in four frames.

Carolina mashed 17 hits as eight different Tar Heels recorded at least one hit. Stallings set a new career-high with three runs and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances. Levi Michael added a solo home run, his team-leading ninth of the season. Jesse Wierzbicki and Ryan Graepel added three hits apiece to round out the UNC attack.

Munnelly retired the first seven batters he faced, disrupting the Golden Eagle hitters' timing. The Tar Heels stranded four base runners in the first three frames, but broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth.

Carolina scored two runs on three hits in the fourth inning. Wierzbicki and Cavasinni each notched RBI singles to push UNC in front 2-0.

The Golden Eagles immediately tied up the score at two in the bottom of the frame manufacturing a pair of runs on four hits. Chris Elder knocked in both Oral Roberts' runners with a single to right field, but Munnelly escaped the innings with a big 5-4-3 double play.

Carolina vaulted back into the lead in the fifth thanks to a pair of home runs from Michael and Baldwin. Michael led off the frame with a solo home run and Baldwin followed with a two-out three run opposite field blast pushing UNC back in front 6-2.

The Tar Heels tacked on two more runs in the sixth after a RBI triple from Graepel and sacrifice fly from Michael. Newly inserted Tar Heel pitcher Holt wriggled out of a bases loaded jam to preserve an 8-3 lead after six frames.

Carolina manufactured four insurance runs on three hits in the top of the eighth. A RBI single off the bat of Ben Bunting highlighted the Tar Heels biggest inning. Striz worked a perfect ninth to seal the UNC victory.

Carolina eliminates Oral Roberts and advances to play Oklahoma at 8 p.m. tonight. If Carolina wins tonight, the Tar Heels will force an additional game tomorrow night against the Sooners for the right to advance to the super regionals.