College baseball: Double lifts No. 14 North Carolina over No. 16 Oklahoma State
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Kyle Datres doubled in the winning run in his first career home game to lift No. 14 North Carolina to a 2-1 win over No. 16 Oklahoma State Friday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. Datres' game-ender scored Brian Millerfrom second and made a winner of Hunter Williams, who worked 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Zac Gallen allowed just three hits over seven and struck out nine in his second straight quality start.
It looked like a potential slugfest early, with Carolina (3-1) scoring in the first on a Tyler Ramirez RBI double and Oklahoma State (2-3) answering with a Garrett Benge solo homer in the second. But Gallen and OSU starter Thomas Hatch kept their opponents off the board into the late innings.
The Tar Heels threatened a number of times, but left 10 men on base before Datres' breakthrough in the ninth. Miller started the rally with a one-out walk against Tyler Buffett (0-1) and advanced to second on Tyler Lynn's infield single. Datres then drove a 1-1 pitch from Buffett into the gap in right center, easily scoring Miller and setting off a celebration at second base around the freshman second baseman.
Hatch left after walking Brandon Riley to lead off the sixth and Buffett was outstanding before the Tar Heels got to him in the ninth. The Carolina bullpen duo of A.J. Bogucki and Williams was also stellar, combining to strike out three over two scoreless innings. As a staff, the Tar Heel pitchers held OSU without a hit in 10 at-bats with runners on base, including an 0-for-6 showing with runners in scoring position.
Adam Pate joined Datres, Miller and Ramirez with two hits as the Tar Heels out-hit the visitors 11-4. Datres also teamed with Cody Roberts for the key defensive play of the game, snagging a one-hop throw to erase Jon Littell at second to end the top of the ninth.
The series continues Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. with righty J.B. Bukauskas taking the ball opposite OSU's Michael Mertz.