TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A ninth-inning home run from North Carolina’s Michael Busch proved to be the difference in Sunday’s 9-7 Tar Heel victory over Florida State on Mike Martin Field at Dick Howser Stadium. Cal Raleigh had two RBI and Rhett Aplin hit his fifth home run of the season, but five errors led to four unearned runs for UNC.
“North Carolina was impressive,” head coach Mike Martin said. “They’re the best team we’ve played this year. They just battled and battled and there are no easy outs in that lineup.”
Florida State starter Drew Parrish allowed a two-run home run to Ashton McGee in the first inning, but the Seminoles responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. With runners on first and second, Raleigh doubled to left field to score leadoff hitter J.C. Flowers, and Quincy Nieporte followed with an RBI groundout that scored Jackson Lueck.
After a perfect second inning from Parrish, Nick Derr scored on a passed ball, and Aplin’s three-run home run scored Matt Henderson and Lueck to give FSU a 6-2 lead.
The Tar Heels clawed back with a run in the fourth, two in the fifth, and one each in the sixth and seventh. During that stretch, only North Carolina’s run in the sixth inning, an RBI single by McGee, was earned as FSU racked up five errors on the afternoon.
With North Carolina leading 7-6, Raleigh again came through for the Noles with an RBI single that scored Flowers and tied the score.
Pitching behind Parrish, Will Zirzow allowed two runs (one earned) before giving way to Chase Haney (1-1) in the seventh. With two outs, Haney struck out Busch looking.
In the ninth inning, Busch, who had an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday to tie the game and break up FSU’s no-hitter, again came through for North Carolina. The Tar Heel was a seventh-inning replacement and hit a two-run, two-out home run that scored Cody Roberts.
Florida State went down in order in the ninth. UNC’s Tyler Baum (4-0) did not allow any of the four runners he faced to reach base in earning the win.
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