College baseball: UNC posts its biggest ACC shutout ever, blanking Virginia Tech 20-0
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Zack Gahagan homered and drove in five runs and Brian Miller matched a career high with five hits as No. 3 North Carolina secured its ninth consecutive series win with a 20-0 victory over Virginia Tech Sunday afternoon at English Field. Carolina scored seven times in both the sixth and seventh to turn a tight rubber game into the Tar Heels' biggest shutout win over an ACC foe in program history.
CAROLINA VICTORY! The Tar Heels post their biggest ACC shutout win EVER with a 20-0 drubbing of Virginia Tech. #GoHeels— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) May 14, 2017
Carolina opened the scoring against Aaron McGarity (2-5) in the second thanks to Miller's first double of the day, a hard-hit grounder that got all the way to the gap to plate Brandon Riley and Gahagan.
In his first career start, Taylor Sugg gave the Tar Heels exactly what they needed on a Sunday following a doubleheader. The sophomore right-hander allowed just four hits and struck out three in 3.2 scoreless innings before giving way to Brett Daniels in the fourth. With the bases loaded, Daniels (5-0) got pinch-hitter J.D. Mundy to ground out and strand three.
Daniels did himself one better in the fifth, getting ACC hitting leader Tom Stoffel to rap into a 4-6-3 double play to squelch another Hokie rally.
The twin-killing proved to be a key moment in the game as the Tar Heel offense pounced on a trio of Virginia Tech relievers in a 7-run sixth. Miller's second RBI double of the day started the onslaught and Gahagan's three-run double punctuated an inning that saw Carolina send 13 men to the plate and push the lead to 11-0.
A trio of home runs added to the carnage in the seventh. Kyle Datres and Gahagan each clubbed two-run homers off Paul Hall Jr. before Warmoth launched a three-run shot off Culver Hughes. RBI hits by Ashton McGee and Datres got the Tar Heels to the 20-run mark for the second time this season.
Jason Morgan, Bo Weiss and Zach Attianese worked scoreless frames to wrap up the Tar Heels' third shutout of the year.
Carolina now sits at 41-10 and 21-6 in the ACC, two games back of Atlantic leader Louisville for the top spot in the overall standings. The series win ties a program best for league series victories in a season, matching the 2008 squad that won nine series and split one.
UNC will return home for its final week of the regular season starting Tuesday against UNCW before hosting Duke Thursday through Saturday to close out league play.