No. 2 North Carolina got a game-tying solo home run from Kyle Shelton in the sixth inning and scratched out three runs in the seventh to score a 4-1 win over Winthrop Tuesday in the regular season home finale at Cary’s USA Baseball National Training Complex. The Tar Heels improved to 43-9 with their eighth straight non-conference victory, while Winthrop dropped to 22-31 with the loss.
Shelton was 2-for-3 with a home run in the sixth and a single in the seventh for his third straight multi-hit game and his fifth in the last six games. Garrett Gore chipped in with two hits on the night.
The reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week, Rob Wooten (5-1) stranded the go-ahead run at third base in the seventh and struck out two of the three batters he faced to earn his fourth win in his last seven appearances. Wooten was one of eight Tar Heels to take the mound on the night on a designated staff day. Rob Catapano, Colin Bates, Brian Moran, Logan Munson, Nate Striz and Tyler Trice all logged scoreless outings.
Matteo D’Angelo (0-2) allowed four runs on four hits over 2 2/3 innings for Winthrop and took the loss. Eddie Rohan and Bryn Henderson each had two hits for the Eagles.
Winthrop took a 1-0 lead on back-to-back doubles by Eddie Tisdale and Rohan to open the fourth against UNC right-hander Patrick Johnson, who then buckled down to strike out the next two batters before inducing a groundout to strand Rohan at second.
Third baseman Chad Flack saved a second Winthrop run with a diving stop on a Kevin Nolan grounder to start an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play in the top of the fifth, but the Tar Heels could not carry that momentum into the bottom of the inning and went in order for the second time on the night.
UNC got on the board in the sixth when Shelton, who has hit the Tar Heels’ last three home runs, laced the first pitch he saw from D’Angelo over the left field fence to tie the game at one. It was his fourth homer of the season and just the fifth of his career.
Carolina batted around in the seventh and grabbed its first lead on an RBI double by Tim Federowicz. Kyle Seager singled through the right side to lead off the inning against D’Angelo, and Federowicz followed with a double to right center to give the Tar Heels the 2-1 lead. Gore followed with a bunt single that Winthrop second baseman Aaron Bonomi threw wildly to first, allowing Federowicz to score UNC’s third run.
Seth Williams then singled through the left side to put runners on the corners, and pinch hitter Mark Fleury reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to drive in Gore and give the Tar Heels a 4-1 lead through seven.
Carolina closes the regular season at No. 1 Miami with a three-game series beginning Thursday in Coral Gables.