Josh Hiatt
Josh Hiatt
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No. 2 Carolina Falls To Davidson, 2-1
Release: 06/04/2017
CHAPEL HILL --- Josh Hudson and Durin O'Linger outdueled Taylor Sugg and Josh Hiatt as Davidson upset No. 2 North Carolina to win the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional Sunday night at Boshamer Stadium. Carolina ended up on the wrong side of a pair of close calls for the final two outs of the game as the Wildcats advanced to the Super Regional round in the program's first NCAA tournament appearance.

All the scoring on the night came in the fifth, when Davidson (35-24) tallied twice in the top half. The Wildcats had runners on the corners with one out against Sugg (1-1) when Carolina turned to Hiatt out of the bullpen. The redshirt freshman right-hander walked Cam Johnson to load the bases before Will Robertson's two-run single put the A-10 champs in front 2-0.

Hiatt buckled down to retire the side, and UNC (49-14) immediately grabbed some of the momentum back from Davidson. With two gone in the home half of the fifth, Michael Busch sent a towering home run just to the right of the batter's eye in center.

But Hudson kept the Tar Heels off the board in the sixth and seventh, and the Wildcats turned to O'Linger for the final six outs. Pitching just two days after six sparkling innings to beat Carolina on Friday, the senior right-hander worked a 1-2-3 eighth before the hosts made one last push.

Brandon Riley got things started in the ninth with a single to left and he moved into scoring position on Tyler Lynn's single off the foot of O'Linger. Zack Gahagan then laced a first-pitch single to right, but Riley was called out at the plate after initially sliding wide of the plate to avoid catcher Jake Sidwell. Busch then grounded out to first on another bang-bang play when O'Linger was ruled to have gotten the bag ahead of the Tar Heel freshman, and the Wildcats celebrated the biggest win in program history.

The loss ends the season of one of the best Carolina's teams ever, one that established a new school record for ACC wins (23) and captured 10 league series victories for the first time. The 49 wins by the 2017 club are the seventh-most in program history and the No. 2 national seed matched the second-highest at UNC.

Davidson advances to face the winner of the NCAA Houston Regional next weekend.

UNC North Carolina Baseball

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