North Carolina didn’t give N.C. State a second chance this time.
The Tar Heels jumped out early on the Wolfpack and just kept adding to their lead until they came away with a 16-4 ACC win on Friday night.
UNC (34-20, 13-16 ACC) shortstop Logan Warmoth remained hot at the plate and got plenty of help to even the series.
N.C. State (33-18, 14-13) won Thursday’s game 6-4 after a slow start but had no such luck on Friday.
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“We had the game in the bag last night and kind of threw it away,” third baseman Kyle Datres said. “That really put into our minds that we can’t let up once we get a couple of runs on the board.”
The Tar Heels didn’t let up, not even after a power outage delayed the game for 17 minutes in the sixth inning.
The Tar Heels scored three runs in the first inning, after an uncharacteristically wild start by N.C. State pitcher Brian Brown (7-3).
Unlike Thursday’s game, where they gave up a 2-0 lead after two innings, the Heels got two more runs in the fourth inning, three more in the sixth and five in the seventh.
The win moves UNC closer to securing a spot in the ACC tournament next week in Durham. The Tar Heels would be the No. 10 seed, the last team in the play-in round, but the seed doesn’t matter, Datres said.
“We just want to get in at this point. We don’t really care where we’re at, as long as we get in there.”
If the Tar Heels can hit like they did on Friday, they will be dangerous in the postseason.
Warmoth went 2 for 4 with a home run, double and four RBI. The sophomore shortstop has hit .490 (25 of 51) with 22 RBI in the past 13 games.
Center fielder Tyler Ramirez and Zack Gahagan both drove in three runs for the Tar Heels. Ramirez and Datres both had three hits as UNC scored its most runs in ACC play this season.
“The first inning was obviously huge,” UNC coach Mike Fox said. “We knew we needed to take advantage, which we didn’t do last night. Then we just kind of got going and it was good to see.”
UNC got three runs in the first, two more in the fourth, three in the sixth, five in the seventh and then tacked on three more in the last two innings.
The top four hitters in the lineup finished a combined 9 for 17 with 12 RBI and nine runs scored.
N.C. State didn’t get on the board until left fielder Brett Kinneman hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off of UNC starter J.B. Bukauskas, who worked six innings to improve to 7-2.
First baseman Preston Palmeiro added a two-run homer for N.C. State after the lights came back on in the sixth inning.
Palmeiro’s home run cut UNC’s lead to 8-4 but the Tar Heels were able to answer. Left fielder Brian Miller, who went to Millbrook, tripled to score two runs during the Tar Heels five-run rally in the seventh.
“We keep telling our kids we’re going to get to where we want to be, we’re just going to take the most difficult road possible,” Fox said. “I’m hoping that holds true because we’re still not there yet.”
UNC can only miss the ACC tournament with a loss and two wins by Boston College on Saturday over Georgia Tech.
N.C. State remains as the No. 5 seed after the loss but can call into the play-in round with a loss and two Georgia Tech wins.
The bottom four teams are in the the play-in round of the ACC tournament and the winners advance to pool play.
The last game of the series, and regular-season finale for both teams, is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio