Xavier Upends No. 12 North Carolina, 2-1
Feb. 21, 2014
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Xavier's pitching staff flexed its muscles in a 2-1 win over No. 12 North Carolina on Friday night. The Musketeers remain unbeaten at 4-0, while the Tar Heels dropped to 1-3 on the season. The four-game winning streak to begin the year is the longest since Xavier opened the 1979 campaign with five-straight victories.
Xavier opened up a 2-0 lead in the third on three-straight hits. Tres Eberhardt started the stretch with a double to right field and was followed by Joe Forney, who doubled him home with a shot down the left field line. Brian Bruening completed the trifecta with an RBI single up the middle.
The Tar Heels got one of the runs back in the home half of the fourth. Wood Myers walked to lead off the inning and later scored on a one out single by Michael Russell.
In search of an insurance run, XU put runners into scoring position in each of the final three innings. But, the Heels were able to keep the Musketeers off the board.
The pitching staff for Xavier dominated North Carolina. Adam Hall, who was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll last week, allowed one run on four hits and a pair of walks in six innings.
Brad Kirshner and Daniel Przeniczny combined for the final three innings. Kirschner worked the seventh and eighth without allowing a hit. He struck out on batter and walked one.
Przeniczny closed out the ninth for his second save of the season, but it came down to the wire. After retiring the first batter, Przeniczny hit Russell. Russell stole second base, and, after Przeniczny picked up the second out on a pop up, took third on a passed ball. Xavier's closer buckled down and induced a pop-up to close out the upset win, 2-1.
Forney led Xavier at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort, which included an RBI and game-winning run. Mitch Elliott also picked up a pair of hits for the Musketeers.
XU's victory also snapped UNC's streak of 11-straight home opener victories. Xavier last defeated a ranked opponent in the second game of the 2012 season (2/17) went it took down No. 3 North Carolina, 10-4.
The two teams will be back in action on Saturday at 2 p.m.