CHAPEL HILL --- Long Beach State scored four runs in the final two innings to grab a 5-2 victory over No. 7 North Carolina in the series opener Friday at Boshamer Stadium. J.B. Bukauskas had a third straight standout performance on the mound but did not factor into the decision after the Dirtbags tied it in the eighth.
Brian Miller and Brandon Riley tripled and scored to lead off the first and second innings for Carolina (8-2), but the Tar Heels did no further damage against Long Beach starter Darren McCaughan. McCaughan, the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Year, went seven innings and allowed just two runs on five hits to keep the Dirtbags (5-4) in it.
Jarren Duran reached on an error and scored on a Ramsey Romano RBI groundout in the sixth to make it 2-1. It was the first run of the year allowed by Bukauskas, who struck out nine and allowed six hits over seven innings. Duran then tied it in the eighth on a double steal before the Dirtbags struck for three more in the ninth against the Tar Heel bullpen.
Josh Advocate (1-0) retired all six men he faced in relief of McCaughan to get the win. Josh Hiatt, who entered in the eighth after the leadoff man reached on an infield single against Bukauskas, suffered his first loss of the season.
Logan Warmoth singled in the sixth to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and his reached base streak to 25. Bukauskas reached a personal milestone in the first when he recorded his 200th career strikeout. With nine Friday, the junior righty has 30 on the year and stands at 208 career punchouts.
Romano and Daniel Jackson had two hits each to pace Long Beach.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 2 p.m.