CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Matt Harvey pitched six solid innings to lead No. 24 North Carolina over Wake Forest 18-5 in front of 2218 fans Friday night at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels registered 14 hits to improve to 29-17 overall and 9-13 in league play. Wake Forest was plagued by four errors falling to 12-33 on the year and 4-18 in the ACC.
Dillon Hazlett paced the Carolina attack with a career-best six RBI. The junior added three hits and two runs scored. Levi Michael posted three hits, including his fourth home run of the year, and scored a career-high four runs. Both Michael and Hazlett extended their hit streaks to career-bests 13 and 12 games, respectively.
Harvey (6-2) scattered eight hits while posting five strikeouts and allowing three runs in six innings of work. The junior did not issue a walk and caught all five Demon Deacons looking at a called third strike.
Ryan Graepel added a home run, his third in his last four games, and two RBI. Brian Goodwin matched a career-high with four runs scored, while Jesse Wierzbicki and Jacob Stallings each added two RBI and two hits.
Relievers Cody Penny, Cody Stiles and Garrett Davis combined to allow two runs in three innings of work. All three hurlers made their first appearance in well over a week.
The Demon Deacons scored a pair of runs in the opening frame to dart out to a 2-0 lead. A Steven Brooks double and Mike Murray RBI single highlighted the inning for Wake Forest.
Carolina responded to quickly take the lead at 3-2 after one frame. A Wierzbicki RBI sacrifice fly and two RBI double off the bat of Hazlett manufactured the runs for the Tar Heels.
Michael extended the Tar Heel lead in the bottom of the third crushing a line drive home run over the left field fence. Carolina added another run after consecutive Wake Forest errors allowed Goodwin to cross the plate. Carolina led 5-2 after three innings.
Harvey settled in after the eventful first frame to retire nine Demon Deacons in a row. The junior pounded the strikezone in his first start since April 23.
Carolina took advantage of two hit-by-pitches in the fourth to score six runs all with two outs. A Hazlett three-RBI double followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Graepel capped the big inning for Carolina. The Tar Heels led 11-2 after four frames.
Wake Forest added a run of their own in the top of the fifth to cut into the Carolina lead at 11-3. A Tar Heel error followed by an infield single led to a RBI single off the bat of Mike Murray to manufacture one run for the Deacons.
The Tar Heels scored seven runs on six hits and two Wake Forest errors in the fifth and sixth frames to push in front 18-3. The six-run sixth frame was highlighted by a Wierzbicki RBI single and three-run error on a deep fly ball off the bat of Michael.
Wake Forest added two runs in the eighth frame on a Matt Rhine RBI single and wild pitch. The Demon Deacons posted two hits and shortened the Carolina lead to 18-5.
The two teams will continue their three game set tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Boshamer Stadium.