CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Fifth-ranked North Carolina (30-5) took advantage of five East Carolina (22-11) errors Tuesday night and walked away with a 5-3 win at Boshamer Stadium in the only midweek game for the two clubs this week.
With the game knotted at three in the seventh frame, the Tar Heels scored a pair of runs on two errors by freshman Drew Reynolds to take a 5-3 lead and never looked back. Ben Bunting reached on fielding error, Levi Michael singled through the right side and Tommy Coyle followed by reaching on a throwing error, which scored Bunting. Jacob Stallings continued the inning with an infield single to load the bases before Shawn Armstrong spelled ECU hurler Brad Mincey. Armstrong struck out Colin Moran before Jesse Wierzbicki flied out to right field pushing across Michael for the games final run.
Michael Morin (3-2) picked up the win in relief after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings where he allowed just two hits and struck out five. Starter Bryant Gaines went four innings giving up three runs (all earned) on four hits with a pair of walks and four punch outs. From there, UNC used five pitchers to bridge the gap between Gaines and Morin.
Mincey (4-2) suffered the loss after working five innings of relief where he was touched for four runs (none earned) on six hits with two strikeouts. Mincey relieved starter Zach Woods in the second inning after he left the game with a strained muscle in his side. Woods allowed one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout before leaving the game. Shawn Armstrong (1.0 IP, 2 Ks) and Joseph Hughes (1.0 IP, K) tossed the final two innings of perfect relief.
UNC jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Moran singled through the left side scoring Michael, who tripled down the right field line with one out.
Two Pirate errors in the fourth led to a pair of Tar Heel runs and pushed the lead to 3-0. Moran singled through the right side with one out and Wierzbicki reached on an error by Reinheimer at shortstop. Chaz Frank followed that by reaching on the second error of the frame by Reinheimer, which scored Moran from second base. With runners on the corners and two outs, Seth Baldwin singled up the middle plating Wierzbicki for a three-run advantage.
ECU strung three hits together in the fifth inning tying the game at three. Chris Gosik was plunked by a pitch to start the stanza and Chase McDonald singled up the middle. Reynolds walked to load the bases and after a pitching change, Ben Fultz reached on a fielder's choice scoring Gosik. Reinheimer singled home McDonald on an infield hit to third and Whitehead capped the frame with a RBI single through the right side pushing across Fultz, all with one out.
ECU out hit UNC 9-8 on the night with Reinheimer and Wooten each collecting three hits. Whitehead extended his current hit streak to five games and his reaching base safely streak to 14.
The Pirates will be back in action on Friday, April 15 when they play host to UCF to start a pivotal three-game Conference USA series at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (EST).