College baseball: Warmoth's walk-off HR lifts No. 17 UNC past No.5 Louisville
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--- Logan Warmoth's game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th lifted No. 17 North Carolina to a 3-2 win over No. 5 Louisville Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. Warmoth blasted a 1-1 pitch from Shane Hummel over the wall in left to set off a wild celebration at home plate for the Tar Heels, who snapped a five-game conference losing streak and reached the 30-win mark for the 19th consecutive season.
The late drama overshadowed a second consecutive fine outing for a Carolina (30-16, 10-13 ACC) starter, as J.B. Bukauskas matched a career-high by throwing 8.1 innings on the day. The sophomore allowed just one earned run on nine hits and struck out eight Cardinals, including fanning the side in the fourth. After retiring the top of the UofL lineup in order in the eighth, Bukauskas got the first out of the ninth before Devin Hairston's single to right.
Warmoth's second long ball of the year made a winner of A.J. Bogucki (3-4), who worked a scoreless top of the 10th after allowing a game-tying single in the ninth to Louisville's Colin Lyman. Bogucki took over with two gone in the ninth after Hansen Butler retired Blake Tiberi, who had a team-best three hits on the day against Bukauskas.
Drew Harrington kept the Tar Heels off the scoreboard for the first five innings after being staked to an early 1-0 advantage before UNC scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to take their first lead of the weekend. Zack Gahagan reached on a two-out walk in the sixth, and Brandon Riley's slicing triple to left tied the game at one. Warmoth's sac fly plated Brian Miller in the seventh, but Carolina was unable to add to the lead against Adam Wolf and Hummel (2-1) until the 10th.
Louisville (37-10, 15-8 ACC) got the go-ahead run aboard in the top of the 10th on Will Smith's one-out single, but Cody Roberts erased the Cardinal catcher trying to swipe second to squelch the potential rally. In addition to tallying his 12th caught stealing on the year, Roberts picked off a pair of runners at first base to aid his starter.
Bukauskas allowed a career-high nine hits in matching his longest outing as a Tar Heel. All nine hits were singles, however, and only the two Cardinals who scored advanced beyond second base. And unlike in last year's 8.1-inning performance at Clemson, which UNC eventually lost in extras, Carolina made sure it got something out of the sophomore's fine work.
But the hero of the day was Warmoth, who just missed clearing the bases with a hard liner to right in the third and became the first Tar Heel to end a game with a home run since Ryan Graepel walked off High Point in 2010.
Carolina will send Jason Morgan to the hill in Sunday's rubber game opposite Louisville senior Kyle Funkhouser. First pitch for the Mother's Day matinee is set for 1 p.m.