CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Charlie Barnes went toe-to-toe with one of the top pitchers in the nation Friday night for six innings, but a five-run seventh lifted No. 4 North Carolina over No. 3 Clemson 5-1.
Barnes had a shutout going into the seventh but ran into trouble. Barnes went 6.2 innings and gave up four hits, four runs and four earned runs.
“We controlled the ballgame for six and two-thirds of it and we had unfortunately had a tough pitch that got by Chris (Williams) to tie the ballgame,” Clemson head coach Monte Lee told The Clemson Insider after the loss. “Then a walk and then it was two strikes with two outs and (Patrick) Andrews left the breaking ball up. Give their guy credit.”
The Tigers out hit the Heels 8-6 on the night, but North Carolina strung four together along with two walks in the seventh for the big inning.
Clemson took the lead in the sixth. Chris Williams hit a solo home run to right field to put the Tigers up 1-0.
North Carolina bounced back to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh. All of the damage came after Barnes set down the first two batters on strikes. Back-to-back singles and a wild pitch scored the first run for the Heels. Patrick Andrews then entered to relieve Barnes. A run-clearing double made it 4-1 and chased Andrews. Schnell came in and gave up a single to score another and North Carolina led 5-1 after seven.
North Carolina starter J.B. Bukauskas earned the win, as he allowed five hits, one run and three walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings pitched. The Heels improved improved to 34-9 overall and 17-5 in the ACC.
Clemson fell to 34-9 with the loss and 16-6 in the ACC. The Tigers and Heels play game two Saturday at 4 p.m.