CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Senior Ryan Graepel’s career-best six RBI catapulted No. 22 North Carolina over Richmond 17-6 Wednesday night at Boshamer Stadium. Nine different Tar Heels recorded a hit and eight different players registered at least one RBI. Garrett Davis earned the win to help Carolina improve 18-9 overall. Richmond’s Ian Marshall suffers the loss as the Spiders fall to 12-11 overall with the loss.
Davis (3-2) tossed 2.2 shutout innings of relief while striking out five batters. Starter Cody Stiles allowed just two earned runs on three hits in 2.2 innings of work. The freshman earned a career-high in innings and strikeouts with three. Greg Holt, Zach Bernard, R.C. Orlan. Parker Thomas and Nate Striz all pitched in relief combining to allow one run on five hits.
“This is how you want to script midweek games,” said head coach Mike Fox. “We did not use a lot of our front-line pitchers. We scored a lot of runs in our two wins and we got some players some innings.”
Marshall (1-1) suffers the loss for the Spiders, after allowing six runs on seven hits in three innings. Five different Spider pitchers hurled in relief, combining to allow 11 runs in six frames.
Offensively Graepel posted three hits and a career-high six RBI to pace the Tar Heels. The senior was just a triple shy of the cycle, as he hit his second home run of the season and fourth of his career. Mike Cavasinni added two hits and two RBI as he extended his hit streak to nine games. Jacob Stallings registered one hit and a career-high three RBI for Carolina.
The Spiders jumped out to a 5-3 lead early in the third inning, but the lead was short-lived. Graepel hit a towering three-run home run to push Carolina in front 6-5 with one swing of the bat.
Richmond threatened with the bases loaded and just one out in the fourth, but Davis entered to pitch. The Fremont, N.C., native wriggled out of the jam striking out two straight batters to end the frame unscathed.
The Tar Heels continued to manufacture runs plating three in the fourth frame. Carolina scored two runs on a hit-by-pitch and walk, as Spider reliever Brian Farrell labored in the inning. Graepel singled home another run to help UNC build a 9-5 lead.
Carolina blew open the score in sixth frame scoring five runs. After three walks loaded the bases, Graepel ripped a double for two more RBI. Cavasinni singled home another run and Brett Knief earned an RBI on a groundout. The Tar Heels led 14-5 after six innings.
Richmond added one run in the top of the seventh on a Chris Cowell single, proving to be the only run allowed by the Tar Heel bullpen.
Carolina scored three more runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a Knief RBI double and Seth Baldwin single up the middle. Jeff May also earned an RBI groundout.
The Tar Heels Josh Leemhuis played in his first collegiate game Wednesday. The freshman was 0-for-1 in his first career at-bat, but did record a putout in the ninth inning.
Carolina will be back in action Friday as the team travels to Maryland for a three-game set. The road games will be the Tar Heels first outside of the Old North State.