NCAABBL: North Carolina’s walk-off hit sinks Virginia in MCWS opener

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Vance Honeycutt lined a game-winning single to left field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give No. 4 North Carolina a 3-2 victory over No. 12 Virginia on Friday in the opening game of the Men’s College World Series at Omaha, Neb.

Pinch hitter Jackson Van De Brake led off the ninth with a double just inside the right field line off Virginia’s Chase Hungate (7-2). Alex Madera laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Van De Brake to third and Colby Wilkerson was retired on a foul pop to catcher Jacob Ference.

Honeycutt came up and delivered the walk-off hit on a 2-1 pitch to make a winner of Dalton Pence (5-1), who tossed 3 1/3 hitless innings of relief. Casey Cook had three hits for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina (48-14) advances to face Tennessee in a Sunday night matchup. Virginia (46-16) will oppose Florida State in an elimination game Sunday afternoon.

Virginia left-hander Evan Blanco allowed two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.

North Carolina struck in the bottom of the first as Cook singled with one out, moved to third on a double by Parks Harber and scored on Anthony Donofrio’s groundout.

The Cavaliers tied the score in the third when Ethan Anderson hit a one-out single, advanced to third on a double by Casey Saucke and scored on Henry Ford’s single to right.

Virginia took a 2-1 lead in the sixth as Henry Godbout drew a leadoff walk against North Carolina’s Matt Poston and Eric Becker followed with a double. After Bobby Whalen struck out, Griff O’Ferrall hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Godbout.

The Tar Heels knotted the score in the seventh as Madera led off with a single and was bunted to second. After the second out, Cook stroked a single to left to score Madera and end Blanco’s outing.

North Carolina right-hander Jason DeCaro allowed one run and four hits in four-plus innings. He struck out six and walked four.

–Field Level Media

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