CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Cody Penny earned his first collegiate victory to led No. 22 North Carolina over Winthrop 14-5 Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium. Ten different Tar Heels recorded a hit and nine different players scored a run in the win over the Eagles. Ryan Graepel posted three hits, just on shy of his career-best, to help Carolina improve to 17-9 overall. Winthrop falls to 13-11 on the year with the loss.
Penny (1-0) threw a career-high three innings of relief, allowing just one run on two hits while striking out a career-best four batters. Bryant Gaines made his first start of his career, allowing four runs on five hits in three frames of work. Greg Holt and Teddy Mitrosilis combined to pitch three hitless innings of relief.
Matt Pierpont (0-1) suffers the loss for the Eagles in his first career start. Five Eagle pitchers were used in relief, combining to allow seven runs on seven hits.
“It feels good to get a win after the weekend we had,” said head coach Mike Fox. “I think we strung together five straight hits in the fifth inning to push in front. Jesse [Wierzbicki] is one of our hitters, who is really locked in right now. He is seeing the ball extremely well.”
Graepel and Tommy Coyle each posted three hits and one RBI in the win. Jesse Wierzbicki hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season, a two-run opposite field blast over the right center field wall.
Mike Cavasinni posted two hits en route to extending his hit streak to eight games. Levi Michael added two hits, including one triple, and matched a season-high four RBI. Seth Baldwin added one hit and two RBI in a pinch-hit performance.
Winthrop darted out to an early 4-3 lead after three innings of play. Eddie Rohan hit a solo home run and Matt Thielepape added a two-run shot to manufacture four runs for the Eagles.
Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Tar Heels took their first lead and never looked back. After a Jacob Stallings leadoff single, Carolina reeled off four straight hits culminating with Wierzbicki’s two-run home run to push in front 8-4 after five frames.
Carolina continued to tack on runs scoring three apiece in the sixth and seventh frames. A two-RBI triple off the bat of Michael followed by a Wierzbicki double led to three runs in the sixth for the Tar Heels.
Three straight hits in the seventh, highlighted by a two-RBI double from pinch-hitter Seth Baldwin pushed Carolina in front by a nine-run margin. Baldwin laced the first pitch he saw to the left center gap to score Coyle and Graepel.
Mitrosilis worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings to cap the victory for UNC. The junior tallied three strikeouts and did not allow a single hit in relief.
North Carolina will return to midweek action tomorrow hosting Richmond (12-10) at 6 p.m. from Boshamer Stadium.