College baseball: North Carolina pounds No. 2 South Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Hunter Williams pitched 6.1 innings of scoreless baseball and No. 13 North Carolina reached double figures in runs for the 13th time this season as the Tar Heels pounded No. 2 South Carolina 15-0 Wednesday night at BB&T Ballpark. Eli Sutherland's three-run double in the fourth started a flood of runs in front of a sellout crowd of 10,205, the most fans ever to watch a regular season college game in the state of North Carolina.
Tyler Ramirez and Zack Gahagan had two-run doubles in the fifth and seventh, respectively, as the Tar Heels registered their first top-5 win of the season. Carolina out-hit the Gamecocks 10-7 and drew 10 walks while issuing just three.
Sutherland's bases-clearing double in the fourth was the first UNC hit of the day off Taylor Widener (1-2), who allowed three runs in 3.2 innings before turning it over to the Gamecock bullpen. After a Brandon Riley RBI single off Tyler Haswell made it 4-0 in the fifth, Ramirez greeted Vince Fiori with a two-run double high off the wall in right center.
That proved to be plenty of support for Williams (2-1), who established a new career high with his 6.1-inning performance. He threw 62 of his 86 pitches for strikes and got help from his defense, which turned a pair of key double plays early in the game. Gahagan started a 5-4-3 twin-killing in the second that featured an athletic turn by Sutherland. Cody Roberts then threw out Marcus Mooney stealing to end the third, his 10th runner cut down this year.
Logan Warmoth singled home Ramirez to start a five-run seventh that also featured RBI hits from Gahagan, Roberts and Brian Miller. Carolina tacked on four more in the ninth, highlighted by a three-run triple off the bat of Kyle Datres.
Spencer Trayner stranded a pair of Gamecocks in the seventh to maintain the shutout, before Taylor Sugg and Chris McCue struck out six over the final two innings to end it.
The win was the largest for UNC since a 16-0 victory over Princeton in 2013.
Carolina has now been a part of the three biggest college games in state history. In 2012, UNC beat North Carolina State 4-0 in front of 10,229 in the ACC tournament at Greensboro's NewBridge Bank Park. One year later, the Triangle rivals played an 18-inning classic at Durham Bulls Athletic Park that the Tar Heels won 2-1 en route to an ACC title.
UNC will travel to Charlottesville for a three-game series against Virginia starting Friday at 6 p.m.