No. 3 Tar Heels Shut Down Spartans, 4-1

Four North Carolina pitchers combined on a five-hitter, and third baseman Chad Flack belted his 40th career home run to pace the No. 3 Tar Heels to a 4-1 win over UNC Greensboro Tuesday at Cary’s USA Baseball National Training Complex. Flack, right fielder Tim Fedroff and second baseman Kyle Seager each had two hits for Carolina (22-5).

Freshman right-hander Matt Harvey (4-1) picked up the win in a predetermined staff outing with four shutout innings. He held the Spartans (18-8) to just one hit over four innings but issued a career-high five walks, while striking out five.

Senior righty Rob Wooten fanned five of the six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings, and freshman righty Nate Striz struck out the side in the ninth to claim his second save. He allowed two singles and a walk but left the bases loaded to close out the win.

The Tar Heels, who average 10 strikeouts per game to rank fifth nationally, fanned 16 UNCG batters for their 14th double-digit strikeout game of the season.

Spartan lefty Wes McCall (0-2) struck out three in three-plus innings and allowed two runs on just three hits to take the loss.

With his 2-for-4 effort Tuesday, Flack extended his season-best hitting streak to 10 games and drove in a run for the seventh consecutive contest. His fifth homer of the season also marked Flack’s 100th career extra-base hit. He is just the fourth Tar Heel with 100-plus extra-base hits and only the seventh with 40 or more homers.

Seager, who was 2-for-4 with two RBI, hit safely for the 23rd straight game to extend hit career-best streak and pushed his team-best RBI total to 35 in the process. He also tallied his NCAA-best 17th double, and Fedroff was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Flack’s fourth home run in the last nine games – a solo shot to left on a 1-0 pitch from McCall – put UNC on the board in the second.

After being held to just one hit over the first three innings, the Tar Heels ended the day for McCall with back-to-back doubles by Fedroff and Seager to open the fourth, but reliever Blake Hassebrock came on to strand runners and second and third end the threat without any further damage.

The Spartans struck for back-to-back two-out, extra-base hits in the sixth to cut the Carolina lead in half. Right fielder Sean Snell started the rally with a double to left center off UNC reliever Rob Catapano, and left fielder Pedro Leon followed with a triple to right field to drive in the lone UNCG run of the night.

The Tar Heels pushed the lead to 4-1 with a pair of insurance runs in the seventh courtesy of RBI singles from Fedroff and Seager. Ben Bunting, who came on to pinch run for Greg Holt in the fifth, singled to first base and took second on an error to start the rally. Fedroff followed two batters later with a two-out single through the right side. He then stole second and scored on a Seager’s single through the right side to drive in his second run of the night.

Carolina is back in action Wednesday against Appalachian State at 6 p.m. and host Georgia Tech for a three-game series this weekend.