Sophomore Kyle Shelton had a career-high three hits against Appalachian State Wednesday.
March 8, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Shortstop Josh Horton drove in a season-high three runs as No. 3 North Carolina (11-1) closed out its season-opening 12-game home stand with a 6-4 win over Appalachian State (5-5) Wednesday at Boshamer Stadium. Kyle Shelton, Reid Fronk and Jay Cox each had three hits for the Tar Heels, who open Atlantic Coast Conference play at Wake Forest this weekend.
Shelton, who has five hits over the last two games, posted a career-best 3-for-4 effort against ASU to push his career-long hitting streak to seven games. Fronk's three hits and two runs scored equaled career highs, while Cox was 3-for-4 with one run batted in. Horton had just one hit but pushed his current streak to 11 games. He also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and a bases loaded walk. All 12 of the Tar Heels' hits were singles.
Carolina starter Luke Putkonen (2-0) went five innings and allowed three runs on three hits. He walked just one and struck out two in his third career start. Freshman Adam Warren, junior Matt Danford, sophomore Andrew Carignan and senior Jonathan Hovis allowed one unearned run over the final four innings to close out the victory. Hovis worked the final 1.1 innings to pick up his second save of the season.
After Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Horton and Cox, ASU left fielder David Rubenstein tied the game with a two-run homer off Putkonen in the second.
The Tar Heels quickly rebounded in the third with two more runs. Fronk and Shelton both singled for the second time in the game, and Horton followed with a sac foul out to score Fronk. Three batters later, right fielder Seth Williams singled home Shelton for a 4-2 Carolina advantage.
ASU pulled within a run in the fifth when Rubenstein doubled and scored on a single by shortstop Joey Robinson, but the Tar Heels responded with a pair in the sixth to push the lead to 6-3. Williams, who was 2-for-3 with a walk, led off the inning with a single and scored on a sac fly off the bat of catcher Tim Federowicz. Second baseman Bryan Steed was hit by a pitch and later scored when Horton drew a bases loaded walk for his third RBI of the day.
Catcher Kevin Butler singled home second baseman Ben Billingsley, who reached on an error in the eighth, for the Mountaineers' final run of the afternoon. Hovis then entered and retired for of the five batters he faced - two via strikeout - to close out the victory.
The No. 3 Tar Heels and the No. 30 Demon Deacons square off at 2:30 Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.