CHAPEL HILL --- Tyler Lynn's two-run triple in the fifth proved to be the decisive hit as No. 7 North Carolina grabbed an 8-5 win over Long Beach State in the series finale Sunday at Boshamer Stadium. LBSU had taken a 3-2 lead in the top of the inning before the Tar Heels scored five times against three Dirtbag relievers to build a lead they would not relinquish. Freshman Ike Freeman had his first two collegiate hits, including a solo homer in the eighth, as Carolina improved to 9-3 on the young season.
UNC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to RBI singles from Ashton McGee and Lynn. That advantage stood up until the fifth, when Long Beach (6-5) scratched out three runs against Jason Morgan. Morgan cruised through the first four innings before being victimized by the Dirtbags' trademark small ball in the fifth. A bunt single made it 2-1 before the visitors plated two more on a fielder's choice and an error.
But for the first time all weekend, Carolina immediately responded. After loading the bases with a pair of walks and a hit batter, LBSU reliever John Castro (0-2) got Kyle Datres to ground to first for the second out of the inning. The RBI groundout tied the game, and Long Beach went to lefty Zak Baayoun to face Lynn with two on and two out. The Tar Heel senior responded by lacing a triple into the right field corner to put Carolina in front for good. Freeman's pinch double made it 6-3 before an error gifted UNC another run.
Rodney Hutchison Jr. got his second win of the year in relief, but the story out of the bullpen was Austin Bergner. Bergner entered with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth and escaped the jam with an infield fly and a strikeout. He went three hitless innings before walking a pair in the ninth and handing it over to Josh Hiatt. With the tying run at the plate, Logan Warmoth's strong throw from deep short retired Brock Lundquist to end it.
Warmoth had a double and two runs scored on the day, extending his reached base streak to 27 games. McGee reached three times in his first start as the No. 3 hitter, singling and walking twice as well as scoring twice.
Carolina continues its 17-game homestand Tuesday with a visit from VCU at 3 p.m.