CHAPEL HILL – A three-run bottom of the fifth and five scoreless innings from the bullpen led Carolina to a 4-1 win over Appalachian State on Tuesday night. The win moves the Heels to 22-11 on the season and marks the seventh win for the Heels over the last eight games.
Appalachian State started the scoring in the top of the fourth against the Heels starter, Rodney Hutchison. With one out, Kendall McGowan struck out but reached first courtesy of a dropped third strike. After a single advanced him to second, Joel McDaniel laced a double to left field to give the Mountaineers the first run of the game and a 1-0 lead.
It took an inning, but the Tar Heels marched back in the bottom of the fifth and took firm grasp of the lead with a three-run frame. Things started with an Ashton McGee triple to the left-center gap, leading to the game-tying run from a Brandon Martorano groundout. Then, after back-to-back walks from Cody Roberts and Michael Busch, Kyle Datres punched a double to left that got to the wall and put Carolina up, 2-1. A Brandon Riley RBI groundout tacked on one more, boosting the lead to 3-1 after five full innings.
After Hutchison tossed 4.1 innings, Brett Daniels came in and worked effectively as a stopper. He tossed the next 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit in his scoreless outing.
In the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded, Clemente Inclan hit a chopper that got under the glove of the second baseman and trickled into the outfield. It was good enough to score Kyle Datres, who walked, and put the Heels up 4-1.
After that, the game was Josh Hiatt's to close out and he did just that. The North Carolina closer worked another 2.1 scoreless innings for the Heels, picking up the seven-out save, his third of the year, to give the final edge to the Heels.
Daniels gets the win out of the bullpen, moving to 5-0 on the year. His season ERA is now at 1.22.
Carolina is back in action on Friday, when it travels to Charlottesville to take on Virginia for a three-game set. Friday's first pitch is set for 6 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. start on Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.