CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Ryan Graepel’s first career grand slam lifted No. 25 North Carolina over High Point 6-2 in extra innings Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium. Greg Holt earned the win improving the Tar Heels to 26-17 overall. High Point’s Cory Swickle suffers the loss as the Panthers fall to 22-22 on the year.
Holt (2-2) threw 1.1 shutout innings allowing just one win. In the junior’s last three appearances he posts two wins and a save.
Starter Garrett Davis labored in 1.2 innings of work, allowing just one run on one hit but walking three. Michael Morin threw a career-high five shutout innings, allowing just three hits and fanning four. Zach Bernard registered a big strikeout and rendered one hit in a third of an inning pitched. Colin Bates notched three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.
Graepel’s first career grand slam, just his fifth career home run, and four RBI paced Carolina offensively. The senior also provided a walk-off single in a 6-5 win over Gardner-Webb earlier this season.
Jacob Stallings belted his first career home run, a solo shot, to put the Tar Heels in front 2-1. Both Levi Michael and Dillon Hazlett each extended their hit streaks to a career-best 10 and nine games, respectively.
Each team combined to strand 23 base runners and commit four errors. High Point starter Brian Jones was solid in seven innings of work, allowing two runs, just one earned and posting five strikeouts.
The Panthers claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on just one hit. Davis allowed a two-out double and then walked three straight to push the Panthers in front 1-0 after two innings.
Jones kept the Tar Heels off balance allowing just one hit through the first four frames. Michael broke up the no-hit bid in the fourth with a single, but was caught stealing shortly after to end the threat.
Carolina knotted the score in the bottom of the fifth scoring one run on two hits. Hazlett led off the inning with a double followed by a walk issued to Graepel. Brett Knief then provided a bunt single and an errant throw from the catcher allowed Hazlett to score from second and advanced Graepel to third.
The Tar Heels failed to take the lead going down on three straight on infield pop outs. The score was knotted at one after five frames.
The Panthers threatened in the top of the seventh after a leadoff double off the bat of Sal Pezzino. Morin retired two batters and walked another to place runners at the corners. Bernard entered to pitch and registered a big strikeout to end the inning.
Stallings gave Carolina their first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh with a towering two-out solo home run off the scoreboard in left field. The solo blast gave the Tar Heels a 2-1 lead after seven innings of play.
High Point scored the tying run in the top of the eighth on a Tar Heel error. Bates entered to pitch with one runner on and no outs, the junior fielded the sacrifice bunt attempt but an errant throw allowed Matt Gantner to score from first.
Bates wriggled out the jam with a strikeout, groundout and strong defensive play from Hazlett throwing a runner out at the plate.
Each team threatened to score in the late innings, but failed to take the lead as the game entered extra innings. Carolina had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth and High Point had the tying run at second with two outs.
The leadoff man reached for the third straight frame in the tenth after a Wierzbicki single. Goodwin then parachuted a single into right field to place runners at second and first with no outs.
Hazlett reached on an error by the Pezzino to load the bases. Graepel then catapulted a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence to give Carolina the 6-2 win.
The Tar Heels will be back in action tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Charlotte.