North Carolina second baseman Kyle Seager hit a two-run home run and matched a career-high with three RBI, and right-hander Adam Warren held Winthrop to one run over 5 1/3 innings in a 6-1 Tar Heel victory Thursday in game two of the Coca-Cola Classic at The Winthrop Ballpark.
Seager, who was 2-for-4 and added two runs scored, singled and scored the first run for Carolina (4-1) in the fourth. The Kannapolis sophomore then drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth before belting his third home run of the year in the eighth. Shortstop Garrett Gore, who did not start the last two games due to a hamstring injury, also added two hits and two runs scored. First baseman Dustin Ackley extended his hitting streak to nine games dating to last season.
One start after allowing a career-high eight earned runs over 1 1/3 innings, Warren (1-0) gave up one earned run on six hits and one walk to run his career record to 14-0 at UNC. He was lifted in the sixth with a runner on second, but lefty Brian Moran promptly struck out the first two batters he faced to end the inning.
Moran went two innings and struck out a career-high four batters, and freshmen Ryan Leach and Garrett Davis went the final 1 2/3 innings to lock up the win. Davis struck out the side in the ninth in his first appearance of the season.
Carolina was also sound defensively, as it did not commit an error after posting eight over the last two games.
First baseman Eddie Tisdale went 3-for-4 with three doubles and second baseman Aaron Bonomi added three hits for Winthrop (2-3). Reliever Dane Yoder (0-1) took the loss for the Eagles after allowing three runs in one inning of work.
Winthrop struck first in the second inning when Tisdale doubled down the left field line and scored on a single to center by left fielder Tony Brunetti for a 1-0 lead.
After leading the bases loaded in the third, the Tar Heels tied the game in the fourth when Seager led off with a single up the middle, took third on a double to left from catcher Tim Federowicz and then scored on a groundout to short by designated hitter Zeke Blanton for his second RBI in the last two games. The tying run was charged to Winthrop starter Ryan Mullins, who allowed three hits and two walks over three-plus innings.
Seager gave Carolina its first lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to plate Gore, who was hit by a pitch and moved to third on an Ackley single and a fly out by third baseman Chad Flack. After Federowicz was intentionally walked, Eagle reliever Casey Bradwell hit pinch hitter Ben Bunting to load the bases and then walked center fielder Seth Williams on four straight to push the Tar Heels' lead to 3-1.
Reliever Cam Walters then came on for Winthrop and issued a walk to Shelton to drive in the third and final run of the inning. Fedroff flied out to left to leave the bases loaded, snapping a run of four straight UNC batters to reach via walk or hit by pitch.
Seager struck again in the eighth with a two-run home run off Matteo D'Angelo to give the Tar Heels a five-run cushion they would not relinquish. Gore led off the inning with a triple to right for his second hit of the day, and Seager then came through with his third homer of the season on an 0-1 offering from D'Angelo.
The Tar Heels continue the four-day event against Kent State at 12:30 p.m. Friday and St. John's at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.