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Baseball drops first game of weekend to North Carolina

Collin Sullivan pitches against North Carolina on Saturday night. Sullivan pitched 6.2 innings, allowing only two hits. ORACLE PHOTO/BRIAN HATTAB

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Despite a standout performance from starting pitcher Collin Sullivan, USF baseball fell 3-2 in 10 innings to No. 6 North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Saturday night.

Sullivan pitched 6.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out seven batters.

“I thought he was outstanding,” coach Billy Mohl said. “I thought he pitched really well — it’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from him — command of all three pitches for him. He gave us everything we needed.”

USF led 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth inning when Nelson Alvarez gave up a leadoff homer to Ike Freeman, tying the game. Alvarez then surrendered a walk-off homer to Dylan Harris in the 10th.

Offensively, Joe Genord and Tyler Dietrich each had an RBI. Genord’s came in the first inning, driving in Kyle Phillips. Dietrich’s came in the eighth inning, driving in Dylan Buck.

North Carolina’s pitching had a standout performance as well thanks to starting pitcher Gianluca Dalatri. Dalatri went 7.1 innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and struck out nine batters. In relief of Dalatri, the Tar Heels’ bullpen pitched a combined perfect 2.2 innings, striking out four.

“Their bullpen was lights out when they came in,” Mohl said. “And Dalatri was throwing three pitches for strikes.”

Up next for USF is a quick turnaround. USF and North Carolina play a doubleheader starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with the second game 40 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Due to rainy conditions in North Carolina all weekend, Saturday’s game was the first of the three-game series and started at 6:10 p.m. instead of the originally scheduled 1 p.m.

Despite the hectic weekend, this is nothing new for USF.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” Mohl said. “You look at the conference tournament last year, you look at the Cincinnati series last year, we’ve been in this situation before. The guys know how to respond to it and they responded well.

“We just came up short tonight.”