No. 2 Tar Heels Topple Ospreys, 9-2

Left fielder Kyle Shelton doubled three times and drove in two runs and third baseman Chad Flack reached the 200-RBI mark for his career to lead No. 2 North Carolina to a 9-2 win over North Florida Tuesday at Cary’s USA Baseball National Training Complex. The Tar Heels (39-8) held the Ospreys (26-21) to just four hits en route to their 14th win in the last 15 games.

Shelton went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, and Flack was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to account for four of the Tar Heels’ nine runs. Already UNC’s career leader in hits, games played and at-bats, Flack now has 200 RBI to stand 14 behind the career record shared by Jarrett Shearin and Sean Farrell.

First baseman Dustin Ackley matched Shelton with three base hits, while right fielder Tim Fedroff and shortstop Garrett Gore added two hits apiece.

In a predetermined staff outing for both teams, right-hander Adam Warren (7-1) earned the win for the Tar Heels. Warren went 2 1/3 innings and allowed only one hit, a two-run home run in the first inning. He walked two and struck out three before Carolina followed with six scoreless relief appearances, including 1 2/3 innings from Rob Catapano and two frames from normal Sunday starter Matt Harvey.

Righty Ty Prior (5-5) took the loss for the Ospreys after allowing three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings.

After UNF grabbed an early lead on a two-run home run by Travis Martin in top of first, the Tar Heels came right back with two in the bottom of the inning to tie the score. Ackley reached on a leadoff infield single and scored on a double to right center by Shelton. A Fedroff single through the left side moved Shelton to third, and Flack followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to knot the score at two.

In the second, the Tar Heels grabbed their first lead when Gore started a two-out rally with a single up the middle, took third on a single to left by Ackley and scored on a wild pitch.

Carolina added to its lead in the third when Fedroff roped a leadoff triple to right center and scored on a single to left from Flack.

Two more runs in the fifth pushed the UNC lead to 6-2. Shelton started the rally with his second double of the night, and a walk to Fedroff and sacrifice bunt by Flack put a pair of runners in scoring position. Seager drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right, and Federowicz followed with an RBI single for a four-run cushion.

The Tar Heels broke the game open in the eighth with three more runs, the last of which scored on Shelton’s third double of the game. A single by catcher Tim Federowicz and a walk to pinch hitter Brett Thomas put two on, and a single through the left side by Ryan Graepel plated the first run. After pinch runner Ben Bunting scored from third on a wild pitch, Shelton doubled to right center to score Graepel from first with Carolina’s final run of the night.

Game two of the midweek series is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m.