North Carolina was just two outs away from winning a battle between pitchers before Virginia's Robbie Coman singled into center field to score Pavin Smith, tying the game and eventually taking the teams into extra innings after Adam Haseley came in for a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth. A leadoff double at the top of the 10th for the Hoos would set the tone right for a much-needed 2-1win over the Heels on Thursday Night in Chapel Hill.
"It was a complete team effort," head coach Brian O'Connor said after the game. "Connor Jones was just outstanding."
Jones pitched eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He pitched nine strikeouts on the night, a big part of Virginia's 12 strikeouts in total.
Following the leadoff double from Haseley at the top of the 10th - just Virginia's second leadoff hit of the night - Matt Thaiss had a sac bunt to move the runner to third. Smith's fielder's choice would score Haseley and give the Hoos the go ahead run.
In classic Cardiac Cavs fashion, Virginia fans were left to sweat it out at the bottom of the 10th when Alec Bettinger was brought into the game for the save. An unintentional leadoff walk followed by a sac bunt to move the runner to second left Virginia fans on the edge of their seat. A wild pitch advanced the runner to third, but fans let out a small sigh of relief when Bettinger immediately followed that up with the strikeout. With two outs and a runner on third, Virginia delivered an intentional walk before a pop fly to right field to end the game.
"Their [UNC's] pitching was outstanding," O'Connor. "But we hung in there and found a way to get a run in there and obviously get one in extras."
Virginia advances to 31-19, 13-5 ACC on the season. The Hoos now need just one more win to guarantee them a spot in the ACC Tournament, but could be seeded as high as fifth depending on how the final few games shake out. Our Ryan Reese will break down the field for you on Friday.