CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Junior Matt Harvey pitched eight shutout innings and struck out eleven batters to lead No. 12 North Carolina over Michigan 4-2 Friday at Boshamer Stadium. A spectacular double play in the top of the fourth followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Dillon Hazlett in the bottom of the frame, proved to be the lead Carolina would never relinquish. North Carolina improves to 8-1 on the year, while Michigan falls to 4-5.
Harvey (2-0) struck out 10 or more batters for just the third time in his career, earning his 16th career victory. The junior fanned the side twice, including three strikeouts in the fifth on just 12 pitches. The Mystic, Conn., product was masterful for the second consecutive week, allowing no runs on three hits in eight innings.
Michigan’s Alan Oaks (1-2) suffers the tough loss. Oaks allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings of work. Wolverine reliever Travis Smith walked two batters en route to allowing two runs without recording an out.
Hazlett and senior Ryan Graepel paced the Tar Heels offensively, both posting identical two hit and two RBI performances. Hazlett’s home run, the Tar Heels first hit of the game, extends his hit streak to eight games. In addition, the junior has posted at least one RBI in seven straight games.
Both pitchers were brilliant early, each posting multiple strikeouts in the first few frames. Harvey allowed the first Wolverine hit in the third, but continued to show great command on the mound.
The Wolverines threatened in the top of the fourth after two unorthodox hits off of the junior. A lead off infield single off the bat of Mike Dufek that went off the body of third baseman Levi Michael followed by a double down the left field line gave the Wolverines base runners at second and third with no outs.
Harvey then retired John Lorenz on a soft groundout to the pitcher. A spectacular double play ended the inning – a long fly ball hit to right field was caught by Brian Goodwin who then hosed Dufek trying to score from third. The spot on throw from Goodwin allowed Harvey to escape the inning proving to be a pivotal part of the game.
The Tar Heels ended the scoreless play in the bottom of the fourth. A walk issued to Michael followed by a towering two-run home run to center field off the bat of Hazlett gave the Heels a 2-0 lead. The home run was Hazlett’s second ever as a Tar Heel.
Harvey continued to cruise pitching with a lead through eight frames. The junior fanned the side in the fifth and was dominant on the mound the entire day.
The Tar Heels added some insurance runs in the eighth after Wolverine relievers loaded the bases on three straight walks. Graepel then laced a chopper over the second baseman’s head, good for a two RBI single to push Carolina in front 4-0.
Michael Morin entered to pitch in the ninth as the Wolverines threatened to rally. Morin allowed two runs on four hits, but was able to retire the Wolverines securing Carolina’s eighth win of the year.
Senior Mike Cavasinni’s career-best 14 game hit streak came to an end Friday. Fellow teammate Ben Bunting’s six-game hit streak also ended.
Michigan and North Carolina will continue their three game set tomorrow at 2 p.m.