#6 Tar Heels Down Bulldogs 10-4 Before Largest Home Crowd

May 15, 2012
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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - #6 North Carolina scored four runs in the first inning en route to a 10-4 non-conference road victory over homestanding UNC Asheville Tuesday night at McCormick Field.

The win by the Tar Heels (39-13) was their 10th straight and it came before the biggest home crowd in Bulldog history at 2,847 fans.

UNC was led by center-fielder Chaz Frank's four hits, while six other Tar Heels had two hits. Second baseman Tommy Coyle had a two-run homer in the sixth inning as he finished the game with three RBI.

The Bulldogs (24-26) had 10 hits in the game. Patrick Koontz and Thomas Bess had two hits each for Asheville.

"North Carolina has a great baseball team and their pitching is phenomenal," stated Bulldog coach Tom Smith. "It's hard to get behind a team like North Carolina and expect to win. We battled tonight and what a great atmosphere for college baseball. We're disappointed we lost but our guys fought to the final out."

The Tar Heels opened the scoring in the first inning as they sent 11 men to the plate and scored four times on six hits to jump out to a 4-0.

Asheville tied to fight back in the bottom of the first as the Bulldogs first three hitters had singles to load the bases with nobody out off UNC starter and winner Hobbs Johnson (5-1). But Johnson got two strikeouts and allowed a sacrifice fly from Cody Buch to cut the lead to 4-1.

"We would have liked to have scored a few more runs in the first inning to get back in the game," said Smith. "However, he (Johnson) is a great pitcher and he shut us down after the first inning."

The Tar Heels put the game away in the middle innings. They scored once in fourth, twice in the fifth and three times in the sixth inning to build a 10-1 lead.

Four UNC pitches limited the Bulldogs to just seven hits over the first seven innings before Asheville rallied for three runs in the eighth.

Koontz led off with a double. He scored on Buch's RBI-single.  The senior third baseman finished with two RBI in the game and now has hits in 14 of Asheville's last 15 games. Todd Joyner followed with a double to put runners on second and third. Andrew Kirkland's ground-out scored Buch to make it 10-3. A passed ball scored Joyner for the final run of the game.

The loss went to starter Klint Davis (1-1).

Asheville gets back into action this weekend in the final Big South Conference series of the year. The Bulldogs host Gardner-Webb at Greenwood Field starting Thursday at 3 p.m.


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