Hess' walkoff in 10th inning propels Pittsburgh past No. 11 North Carolina
PITTSBURGH -- Senior Eric Hess delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th, lifting Pitt (8-9, 3-3 ACC) to a series-clinching 3-2 victory against No. 11 North Carolina (12-7, 3-3 ACC) on Sunday at Charles L. Cost Field.
Entering the game as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning, Hess got his chance to hit in the bottom of the 10th after the Tar Heels tied the score 2-2 in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly. After both teams went down in each of their next half innings, the Panthers took care of business in the home half of the 10th. With one out, junior Ron Sherman roped a single to center and moved to second on a passed ball. Following a strikeout, UNC elected to walk hot-hitting freshman Charles LeBlanc with first base open, bringing up the struggling Hess.
Hess made them pay for that decision, taking a 0-1 offering to right center that scored Sherman from second and won the game for the Panthers.
It was the first walk-off win for Pitt this season and first extra-inning victory in three tries. The last Pitt walk-off prior to Sunday was against top-ranked Virginia last season. The Panthers improved to 3-3 this year against teams ranked in the top-11 and are now 4-1 inside the friendly confines of Cost Field this season.
Pitt received a fantastic outing from junior Marc Berube, who threw 7.0 innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out a career-high seven batters and walking none. He did hit four batters, however. Senior Hobie Harris (1-1) was credited with his first win of the season after tossing 1.2 innings of one-hit ball in relief.
Redshirt freshman Frank Maldonado doubled and walked to extend his hitting streak to a team-best 10 games and has reached base in 15 consecutive games. He also scored two of Pitt's three runs.