The second-seeded Coastal Carolina University baseball team (47-15) fell to top-seed and #4 National Seed North Carolina (44-16) 14-5 May 30 in game four of the 2009 Chapel Hill Regional at Boshamer Stadium. Coastal Carolina now will play Kansas Sunday, May 31 at 1 p.m., in an elimination game of the regional. Coastal Carolina had two runners on base in the first, but could not score. The Tar Heels did score a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Ben Bunting walked to open the inning. Dustin Ackley then singled to the left side and Kyle Seager walked to load the bases. Ryan Graepel hit into a fielder’s choice to score Bunting to make it 1-0 UNC. Levi Michael singled to left to score Ackley, making it 2-0 Tar Heels. Coastal Carolina starter Cody Wheeler got out of the first without further damage by getting Garrett Gore to ground into a fielder’s choice and striking out Mike Cavasinni.
The Chanticleers responded with three runs in the top of the third. Adam Rice had Coastal Carolina’s first hit of the game, a single up the middle. He went to second as Tyler Bortnick was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on an Alex White wild pitch and Rice would score on another wild pitch from the Tar Heel hurler. Coastal Carolina would take a 3-2 lead when Jose Iglesias’ liner to center was not caught by the outstretched Cavasinni, allowing Bortnick and Daniel Bowman to score.
The Tar Heels scored four runs in the bottom of the third to take a three-run lead. Michael singled with one out and moved to second on a Mark Fleury walk. Rico Noel would make a diving grab on Gore’s liner to center, but Wheeler would walk Cavasinni to load the bases. The Chants went with Matt Rein after a 2-0 count to Jacob Stallings, and he would walk in Michael to tie the game at three. The big hit came off the bat of Bunting, who cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right field.
Noel hit his eighth home run of the season in the top of the fourth off White. The shot to the gap in left made it 6-4 UNC. Bowman then added on to his freshman home run record with a towering shot to left off White. It was his 13th home run of the season and cut the Tar Heel lead to 6-5.
North Carolina made it 8-5 in the fifth as Seager brought in a pair with a single to center field. The Tar Heels added a run in the sixth as Michael, Fleury and Gore hit back-to-back-to-back singles off Rein.
The Tar Heels put up two more runs in the seventh as Michael’s double to left center brought in Seager and Graepel. North Carolina capped its scoring in the eighth as Ackley doubled in pinch runner Seth Baldwin, Seager brought in Bunting on a sacrifice fly and Graepel singled home Ackley, making it 14-5 UNC.
Iglesias drove in two runs for the Chanticleers, while five players had one hit apiece. For North Carolina, Ackley and Michael had four hits apiece, while Bunting, Seager and Michael had three RBI apiece.
Colin Bates earned the win in relief for the Tar Heels. He struck out four and gave up just one hit in 3.1 innings. White allowed four hits and five runs in 4.2 innings of work. Wheeler was tagged with his first loss as a collegian, allowing six runs and four hits with six walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings.