Drew Govert singled in Garrett Liebe, who slid around a tag by Orange catcher Ryan Puckett for the game-winning run as Chapel Hill upset Orange 3-2 on Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium.
Chapel Hill (10-3, 6-1) is now tied with Orange (11-3, 4-1) for first place in the Big 8 Conference. The two teams meet again Friday at Orange for the second game of their homa-and-away series.
It was the second straight loss for Orange, which last week was ranked by Impactbaseball.com as No. 1 among North Carolina 3A programs and as No. 1 overall in the Triangle by the News & Observer.
Chapel Hill’s win was its fourth in seven one-run games, and Govert hit the game-winning RBI for the second time in four games. He also batted in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth of a 5-4 win last Thursday against Athens Drive .
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Chapel Hill starter Jackson Pette threw five innings of no-hit ball against Orange until Jaydin Poteat singled to left field.
Tigers coach Lee Land promptly replaced Pette with Tyler Hansen, who came in from second base. Despite five hits by Orange, Hansen gave up a single earned run and and record th win to improve to 3-0 this season.
Trailing 2-0 going into the sixth, Orange tied the game when Cameron Mehl singled in Poteat. Bryse Wilson, who also singled, evened the game on an infield hit by Chandler Compton.
Wilson dropped his second straight decision to fall to 4-2.
After starting the season 10-0, the Panthers have dropped three of their last four. All-American catcher Brad Debo missed his sixth straight game because of a broken finger.
They said it
“I saw the third-base coach waving me around. I saw the catcher was going to try a swipe tag, so I had to get around it somehow. So I got my hand on the plate and got it done. It’s a big win under our belts.” – Garrett Liebe on scoring the winning run.
“In college ball, you play a three-game series in conference. Win that and you’ve gained something. In high school, it’s two games for a conference series. Winning this game was great, but if we’re going to gain ground toward a conference championship, we’ve got to win Friday. The conference race goes through Orange.” – Chapel Hill coach Lee Land.
Govert’s single to left field. Liebe, who led off the inning with a hit, made a sage running play around a tag by Puckett, who fielded a throw by Compton with a chance to tag him out. Instead, Liebe scored the winning run.
Three to know
Garrett Liebe: In addition to scoring the game-winning run, Liebe ended a potential Orange threat in the seventh when he picked off Puckett at first base.
Jackson Pette: The Chapel Hill starter retired the first 12 Panthers in order and threw five innings of no-hit ball.
Blake Rasnake: Scored Chapel Hill’s first run after reaching on a catcher’s interference call.