Bullpen bails out No. 11 North Carolina

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Tyler Ramirez hit his team-leading third home run of the year in the first and Trevor Kelley combined with Jason Morgan for 8.2 innings of stellar relief as No. 11 North Carolina snapped a two-game skid with a 6-1 win against Garnder-Webb on Wednesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. Zack Gahagan added two RBIs for the Tar Heels, who now travel to Pittsburgh for an ACC series with the Panthers beginning Friday at 3 p.m.

Carolina (11-5) was dealt a blow in the top of the first when starter Brett Daniels was hit on the arm by a line drive and had to leave the game with one out and runners on second and third. Kelley, who has now pitched in five consecutive games, got a strikeout and a foul pop to escape the trouble to set the stage for Ramirez in the bottom half.

Adam Pate led off the Tar Heel first with a bunt single before Ramirez sent a deep blast out to right to quickly make it 2-0. Three batters later, Skye Bolt plated Gahagan with one of his two hits to give the Tar Heels a 3-0 advantage.

UNC added a run in the third and two more in the fourth on RBI hits from Logan Warmoth and Gahagan, and the hosts played flawless defense behind Kelley and Morgan. Kelley departed after 3.2 hitless innings of work, and the freshman righty Morgan needed just 44 pitches to get the final 15 outs of the game for an unconvential save.

Bolt, Gahagan, Ramirez and Korey Dunbar each had two hits for Carolina, which out-hit the visitors 11-7.

Beau Hilton (0-1) started for Gardner-Webb (10-7) and allowed six runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Ryan Hodge had three of GWU’s seven hits, and Sam Fulginiti drove in the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ only run in the sixth.

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