Shelton Shines For No. 3 Tar Heels In Win Over VCU

Senior Kyle Shelton had his first career four-hit game and tied a school record with two triples in No. 3 North Carolina's 10-2 win over VCU Wednesday at Cary's USA Baseball National Training Complex. The Tar Heels (11-3) also got multi-hit games from right fielder Tim Fedroff, second baseman Kyle Seager, center fielder Seth Williams and catcher Mark Fleury, as they tallied 15 hits against the Rams (2-11).

Shelton, who was 4-for-4 with a career high-tying three runs scored and two RBI, matched his season hit total on the afternoon and raised his average from .190 to .320. With back-to-back triples in the fourth and sixth innings, he became the fifth Tar Heel with two triples in the same game. The Charlotte product also doubled in the first and singled in the second.

Fedroff, who extended his hitting streak to eight games with his sixth straight multi-hit game, was 3-for-4 and matched a career high with four runs scored and an RBI. Seager, who was 2-for-5 with three RBI, pushed his current hitting streak to a career-best 10 games, and Dustin Ackley singled in the fourth and walked twice to push his current streak to 18 games dating to last year.

Fleury, who went 2-for-5, and Williams, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI, both hit safely for the sixth straight game.

Freshman right-hander Patrick Johnson (1-0) earned the win in his first career start with seven strikeouts over five innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and did not issue a walk. Freshmen Ryan Leach and Matt Harvey, who started Tuesday's game, followed with scoreless innings of relief. Junior Tim Federowicz moved from designated hitter to pitcher for the eighth, and sophomore Alex White picked up the first two outs of the ninth before redshirt freshman Bryant Gaines ended the win with a strikeout.

VCU starter Ian Thomas (0-1) went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six runs, four earned, on 11 hits and a walk. He struck out seven. First baseman Jared Bolden and third baseman Joe Van Meter had two hits apiece for the Rams.

After a slow start in Tuesday's loss to No. 20 Coastal Carolina, the Tar Heels jumped on VCU for two runs in the first. Fedroff led off the inning with a bunt single, took third on a double off the right field wall by Shelton and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Ackley. Seager followed with an infield single to first, but Bolden threw wildly to the bag after making a diving stop on the ball, allowing Shelton to score from second for a 2-0 Carolina lead.

VCU cut the lead in half in the fourth when Bolden reached on a two-base error in left by Ackley and scored on a triple to right center by shortstop Chris Jackson, but the Tar Heels responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning to grab a 5-1 lead.

Third baseman Chad Flack opened the inning with a walk and scored from third on a single up the middle by Fedroff, who then crossed the plate when Shelton tripled over the head of VCU right fielder Justin Wright. Ackley followed with a single to left for a third straight hit for the Tar Heels and a four-run cushion.

The Rams scored for a second straight inning when Wright singled up the middle and scored from third single through the left side by center fielder Kwan Evans off Johnson.

Carolina got that run back in the sixth when Fedroff reached on a fielding error by Thomas and scored on the second triple of the day by Shelton, who roped a 2-1 offering over the VCU defense in right center.

The Tar Heels broke the game open in the eighth with four runs against the Rams' bullpen. After Carolina loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter, Seager cleared them with a three-run triple to left center for the Tar Heels? third three-bagger of the afternoon. Williams followed with a sacrifice fly to center to plate the fourth run of the inning and the 10th of the day for UNC.

Freshman Greg Holt earned his first career base hit in the eighth, a pinch-hit single.

Carolina is back in Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend for a three-game set against Virginia Tech beginning Friday in Cary. ACC Select will carry a webcast of all three games.