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Baseball Rallies in the Late Innings to Defeat #1 North Carolina 7-3

Baseball Rallies in the Late Innings to Defeat #1 North Carolina 7-3

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (4-1) scored six runs in the final two innings to come-from-behind and beat top-ranked North Carolina (3-1) 7-3 Feb. 24 in Chapel Hill, N.C. It was the second straight regular-season win over the Tar Heels for the Chanticleers and their first-ever win over a top-ranked opponent.   The Tar Heels put up the game’s first run in the bottom of the first.  Mike Cavasinni led off the inning with a single to center. After freshman Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) struck out Levi Michael, he walked Dustin Ackley. Kyle Seager then hit a ground ball back to Hessler. He got the force on Ackley, but freshman Taylor Motter’s (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) throw was wide and past senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) to score Cavasinni. 
The Chanticleers tied the game at one in the top of the third. Freshman Dan Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) singled with one out off UNC hurler Patrick Johnson. Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) followed with a single. With two outs, both runners advanced on a passed ball, then Bowman would score on a Johnson wild pitch.   North Carolina’s Levi Michael scored the first earned run of the game in the bottom of the sixth, as he hit the first Tar Heel home run at the newly renovated Boshamer Stadium, a solo shot to left center field. Coastal Carolina got out of a first-and-third jam as sophomore Matt Rein (Houston, Texa/Langham Creek) struck out pinch hitter Matt Harrison to end the threat.   Junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) reached on a throwing error to lead off the top of the seventh. Motter sacrificed him to second and Bowman then reached on a walk. The rally was cut short, though, as Rice was caught stealing and Bortnick flew out to end the frame.   North Carolina added a run in the seventh as Ryan Graepel singled with one out. It looked like the inning would end as Cavasinni hit a grounder to second. Bortnick tagged Graepel but his throw was dropped by Anderson, keeping the inning alive. Cavasinni went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Michael.   Coastal Carolina would tie the game in the eighth. With one out, sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) doubled. He stole third and then would trot home on junior Jose Iglesias’ (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) fourth home run of the season, a towering shot to left center field.    The Chanticleers would take the 7-3 lead in the top of the ninth, sending nine men to the plate. Rice led off the inning with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Motter, but Motter would be safe on a throwing error by Mark Fleury. The Chanticleers would load the bases with one out on a Bortnick walk. Freshman Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) hit a ground ball to Graepel at short, but he could not come with it, scoring pinch runner Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville). Noel followed with an infield single, making it 5-3 Chants. Tar Heel reliever Colin Bates then walked Anderson and gave up a sacrifice fly to Iglesias for the 7-3 lead. Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) struck out a pair in the ninth as the Chants improved to 4-1 on the year.   Noel had two hits for the Chants, while Iglesias drove in three. Cavasinni and Michael had two hits apiece for the Tar Heels.   Rein earned the win in relief for Coastal Carolina. He allowed two hits in 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. Hessler had an impressive start, striking out five and allowing three hits and one earned run in 5.1 innings.    Bates took the loss in relief, allowing four unearned runs in one inning. Tar Heel starter Johnson pitched five innings, allowing an unearned run and two hits with nine strikeouts.   Coastal Carolina hosts the Baseball at the Beach Tournament Feb. 27-March 1 at BB&T Coastal Field. The Chanticleers will face West Virginia Friday, Feb. 27 at 4 p.m.