Tim Federowicz drove in a game-high three runs on a double and a triple to highlight No. 2 North Carolina’s 10-5 win over High Point Wednesday at Cary’s USA Baseball National Training Complex. The Tar Heels (36-7) extended their longest winning streak since 2002 to 11 games with the victory over the Panthers (16-24).
Federowicz was 2-for-3 with an RBI double in the second and a two-run triple in the seventh. Chad Flack and Kyle Seager also added two hits each and combined to score five of Carolina’s 10 runs. Freshman Brett Thomas made his first career start at designated hitter and came through with his first career RBI on a fourth-inning single.
Right-hander Colin Bates (4-0) faced the minimum and struck out two over 2 1/3 innings to earn the win in relief of righty Mike Facchinei, who fanned four and allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits over 4 2/3. Left-hander Brian Moran worked a scoreless eighth, and Nate Striz allowed one unearned run in the ninth.
High Point starter Ryan Basham (2-5) went 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on five hits and two walks.
The Tar Heels got on the board in the second on back-to-back doubles from Kyle Seager and Federowicz. After Seager sent his ACC-best 21st double to right center, Federowicz laced the next pitch down the left field line to give Carolina the 1-0 lead.
High Point came right back to tie the game with a two-out rally in the top of the third that was capped by an RBI single from center fielder Matt Gantner, but the Tar Heels broke the game open with four runs in the fourth.
After a pair of hit batters by Basham put two on, Thomas singled to left to drive in his first career run and give the Tar Heels a one-run lead. Garrett Gore followed two batters later with a single through left side of a drawn-in infield to drive in a pair of runs, and a throwing error by High Point shortstop Alfie Wheeler on an Ackley grounder lifted the UNC lead to 5-1.
The Panthers took advantage of a two-out Tar Heel fielding error in the fifth to trim the lead to just one. After a single and a hit batter by Facchinei put two on base, Seager misplayed a grounder to second by Gantner that allowed one run to score. Catcher Billy Alvino followed with a two-run single through the left side to bring the Panthers within a run and end the day for Facchinei.
Carolina needed to see just three pitches from reliever R.J. Chlebnikow to get one of the three runs back in the bottom of the inning. After consecutive singles by Tim Fedroff and Flack, Seager atoned for his fielding miscue with a run-scoring single through the right side to drive in his ACC-best 60th run of the season. The Tar Heels pushed their lead to 7-4 when a throwing error by Alvino on a double steal allowed Flack to score from third.
Federowicz’s first triple of the season highlighted a three-run seventh inning for the Tar Heels. He drove in two runs with the three-bagger to right field and then scored on a wild pitch to lift the Carolina lead to 10-4.
The Tar Heels are back in action this weekend with a key ACC series against Florida State in Cary. The Tar Heels and Seminoles will square off at 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. A webcast of all three games will carried online by ACC Select.