ATLANTA --- No. 9 North Carolina scored seven unanswered runs to storm back from a 4-0 deficit and secure a 7-4 win over Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. Brett Daniels struck out a career-high nine batters in 4.1 scoreless innings of relief to get the victory and give the Tar Heels a second series win to start league play.
Georgia Tech (12-6, 2-4 ACC) scored three times in the third to take an early lead. Kyle McCann's two-run homer off Jason Morgan was the big blow, and the Jackets increased their advantage to 4-0 with Trevor Craport's RBI single in the fourth.
Jay Shadday, who was making his first career start for GT, kept the Tar Heel bats cold through five scoreless innings. The freshman lefty struck out eight and allowed just two hits before giving way to the Tech bullpen.
Carolina (15-5, 4-2 ACC) struck immediately against the first of six Yellow Jacket relievers. Logan Warmoth tripled on the first pitch he saw from Micah Carpenter to lead off the sixth before Ashton McGee's second home run of the year made it 4-2. Four batters later, Cody Roberts plated the Tar Heels' third run of the inning with an RBI groundout.
Meanwhile, Daniels (1-0) was making quick work of the Tech lineup. The junior right-hander retired 11 straight batters at one point, racking up nine strikeouts to more than double his previous career best.
UNC took its first lead of the day in the eighth. Tyler Lynn led off the inning with a bloop double off Zac Ryan (2-1) and scored the tying run on a wild play. Roberts bunted in front of home and Joey Bart's throw to third missed its mark and rolled into left field, allowing Lynn to score ahead of Ryan Peurifoy's throw. Roberts took second on the play and scored on Michael Busch's go-ahead sac fly.
Carolina added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth thanks to some clutch hitting and two more GT errors. Warmoth led off the inning with a double and scored on a Zack Gahagan RBI grounder. Craport couldn't handle it, and Gahagan would come around to score on a Roberts sac fly three batters later.
The bottom of the ninth was not without drama, however. Kel Johnson led off the frame with a sun-aided double to center before UNC closer Josh Hiatt hit McCann to bring the tying run to the plate. The redshirt freshman right-hander responded by striking out the side, freezing Chase Murray to pick up his seventh save of the year.
The series win continued a positive trend for the Tar Heels, who have now won back-to-back series in Atlanta for the first time under 19th-year head coach Mike Fox.
Carolina concludes its four-game road trip Wednesday, March 22, when the Tar Heels visit East Carolina.