COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Charlie White slapped an 0-2 pitch through the right side of the infield allowing Anthony Papio to beat the throw home from right as Maryland defeated No. 13 North Carolina on a walk-off single, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to even the series at one.
After stranding 14 runners Friday night, the Terps (11-5, 2-3 ACC) capitalized when it mattered most on Saturday. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Papio reached after being hit by a pitch and stole second. Krysthian Leal then worked a five-pitch walk with two down to bring White to the plate.
After falling behind 0-2 to UNC reliever Zach Rice, White found the hole on the right side of the infield. With Papio rounding for home, Zach Daly’s throw to the plate went up the line allowing Papio to slide past the diving catcher to send the Terps home as 3-2 winners.
“Like Tony Robichaux [head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette] taught me years ago, when you get a guy in scoring position late in the game it puts a lot more pressure on that pitcher to throw perfect pitches every single time,” said head coach John Szefc. “Charlie [White] goes 0-2 and to his credit he hung in there and delivered a big hit.”
Starter Mike Shawaryn and Tayler Stiles combined to strand 13 Tar Heel base runners including leaving the bases loaded in the first and fifth innings. Shawaryn, who was one of only four pitchers in the ACC to enter the weekend 4-0, battled for 4-2/3 innings scattering eight hits and striking out five. Stiles pitched 4-1/3 innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts.
"Shawaryn hung in there,” said Szefc. “He didn't have his best stuff, but he battled and was his normal magician self, minimizing damage.
“Stiles was the story of the game. He came in with the bases loaded [in the fifth inning] and got that guy out. He just kept getting the big outs. He pitched to contact and we played good defense behind him."
The Terps got on the board first scoring two runs in the second inning off Carolina starter Benton Moss. Maryland loaded the bases behind a Kevin Martir walk, a hit-by-pitch on Blake Schmit and an infield single by Andrew Amaro. Jose Cuas then missed a grand slam by a few feet settling for a two-RBI double off the wall in right.
North Carolina (13-5, 3-2 ACC) threatened in its first at-bat loading the bases on a double, hit-by-pitch and a walk. But Shawaryn got Korey Dunbar to fly out to center on a 3-2 pitch to get the Terps out of the inning unscathed. The freshman then settled down and retired eight of the next nine batters he faced before the Tar Heels strung together four consecutive hits including two doubles to knot the game at two.
In the fifth, the Tar Heels looked as if they would take the lead on a Parks Jordan single to left. But Schmit dove to his right to knock the ball down and keep it in the infield saving a run. Stiles entered from the bullpen with the bases loaded and got Joe Dudek to fly out to right to end the inning.
Neither team put a runner in scoring position again until Michael Russell doubled to start the UNC seventh. Stiles stranded Russell at third after getting two pop ups and a fly ball to center. The Tar Heels threatened again in the eighth placing runners at first and second with two outs before Stiles got Wood Myers to fly out to center.
"This was a really important day for us,” said Szefc. “We are trying to get on track offensively and they are a good team. You come off a kind of uncompetitive game last night. It was very important for our team to come back and play well, which we did, and be able to finish.”
Stiles’ relief performance earned him his second win of the season improving his record to 2-0. Rice took the loss dropping his record to 0-1.
Maryland and North Carolina will play the third and final game of the series Sunday at noon at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.