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No. 1 seed Diamond Heels fall 8-4 to No. 2 seed LSU in Chapel Hill Regional –

After struggling offensively all evening, the No. 1 seed North Carolina Diamond Heels fell 8-4 to No. 4 seed LSU on Sunday night, forcing a winner-take-all game seven in the Chapel Hill Regional.

North Carolina started the game three up, three down against LSU starting pitcher Thatcher Hurd. In the bottom of the inning, LSU’s Josh Pearson hit a two-run jack to right center field with two outs, putting the Tigers up 2-0 early.

In the top of the second, the Tar Heels went up three and down three again as Hurd recorded two strikeouts in the frame. After advancing a runner to second base in the bottom of the second, UNC junior starting pitcher Aidan Haugh was able to get out of the inning on a pop-out.

North Carolina had its third consecutive 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout, groundout and flyout. The Tigers extended their lead in the bottom of the third inning with a two-out single to shallow right field that fell just short of graduate right fielder Anthony Donofrio’s glove as he attempted a diving grab. Haugh was able to prevent more damage and forced an error on freshman third baseman Gavin Gallaher.

With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, senior first baseman Parks Harber hit a double down the right field line for his first hit of the weekend and UNC’s first hit of the night. In the next at bat, Donofrio singled to right field to bring home Harber, cutting the LSU lead to 3-1. Senior design hitter Alberto Osuna then singled to left field to advance runners to first and second base, but freshman catcher Luke Stevenson struck out, leaving Donofrio and Osuna stranded.

To start the bottom of the frame, LSU advanced runners to second and third base with no outs, loading the bases after the second consecutive walk by sophomore pitcher Kyle Percival, who was then replaced by senior pitcher Connor Bovair.

Junior Tommy White then singled to right field to restore the Tigers’ three-run lead. LSU then drove in two more runs when freshman Steven Milam singled through the right side, extending the Tiger lead to 6-1. After another walk, LSU grounded into a double play, but still managed to bring a runner home and took a 7–1 lead before a pop-out ended the inning.

After another 1-2-3 inning for the Tar Heels, Hayden Travinski extended the LSU lead with a solo shot to left center field. In the top of the sixth inning, Harber hit another double with two outs, who then advanced to third base on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball.

Then Donofrio singled to first base, followed by Osuna singled up the middle, moving runners to the corners. After a pitching change for LSU, Stevenson walked to load the bases, but Gallaher struck out to end the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers advanced runners to first and second, and sophomore pitcher Cameron Padgett replaced Bovair to escape the jam.

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