No. 8 North Carolina scored four runs in the first inning and never trailed in downing the No. 23 Virginia baseball team 5-3 Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field. The Sunday attendance of 4,422 gave UVa a weekend total of 13,675, the most in program history for a regular-season series.
With the win the Tar Heels (27-9, 12-6 ACC) swept the three-game series and became the first ACC team to sweep the Cavaliers at Davenport Field since Georgia Tech from May 9-11, 2003.
Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) went 3-for-3 and scored twice off the bench for Virginia (23-13-1, 9-9). Stephen Bruno (Jr., Audubon, N.J.) homered and knocked in a pair of runs for the Cavaliers.
Virginia starting pitcher Artie Lewicki (So., Wyckoff, N.J.) worked 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs, six hits and a walk while striking out three. He was credited with the loss and fell to 1-2 this season.
North Carolina starting pitcher Benton Moss worked 6.0 innings, allowing two earned runs, four hits and a walk while striking out nine. In earning the win, Moss improved to 3-2 this year. Michael Morin, the sixth UNC pitcher of the game, tossed the final 1.1 innings to earn his 10th save.
North Carolina got some early breathing room with a four-run second inning. Cody Stubbs and Michael Russell hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. After a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners, Brian Holbertson stroked a two-run single to center, and Adam Griffin followed with an RBI single. One out later, Chaz Frank singled in Griffin and the Tar Heels held a 4-0 edge.
Bruno put the Cavaliers on the board when he homered into the left-field bleachers to lead off the fourth inning. It was his third home run of the year.
UVa scored again in the fifth inning on a Bruno sacrifice fly, but the Tar Heels countered with a run of their own in the sixth inning against UVa reliever Kyle Crockett (So., Poquoson, Va.) on Parks Jordan's two-out RBI single to score Zolk.
Virginia cut the lead to 5-3 in the seventh. Downes led off with a single. Two outs later, with Downes on third base, Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) walked. With Bruno at the plate, Howard slipped while returning to first base and was caught in a rundown. He stayed in the rundown long enough to allow Downes to score.
UVa put runners on first and second with one out in the ninth inning, but Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) grounded into a double play to end the game.
Virginia concludes its nine-game homestand at 6 p.m. Tuesday when Richmond visits Davenport Field. UVa hits the road next weekend for an ACC series against Duke at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.