North Carolina tops Notre Dame, advances to ACC title game

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Mac Horvath hit a go-ahead single with two outs in the eighth inning and Danny Serretti followed with a two-run double to spark No. 8 seed North Carolina to a 7-2 victory over No. 4 seed Notre Dame in the semifinal round of the ACC Tournament on Saturday.

North Carolina (37-19) advances to play the winner of the second semifinal — either No. 11 seed Pittsburgh or No. 12 seed North Carolina State — in Sunday’s championship game.

The Tar Heels pulled away from a 2-2 tied in the eighth. Mikey Madej singled leading off. Tomas Frick reached first on a throwing error by pitcher Aidan Tyrell on a sacrifice bunt attempt and Patrick Alvarez followed with a walk to load the bases.

Jackson Dennies replaced Tyrell and struck out Johnny Castagnozzi for the first out. Will Mercer relieved Dennies and struck out Angel Zarate on three pitches for the second out. But Horvath singled through the right side of the infield to score Madej and Danny Serretti added two insurance runs with a double.

Castagnozzi delivered a two-run single in the ninth to cap the scoring.

North Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on Colby Wilkerson’s RBI ground out.

The Fighting Irish (35-14) took a 2-1 lead on solo home runs by No. 9 hitter Jack Brannigan in the third and Carter Putz in the fifth.

Shawn Rapp (4-0) retired all five batters he faced in relief to get the win for the Tar Heels. D Palermo a hit and a walk, striking out three in the final two innings for his fifth save.

Tyrell (5-1), didn’t retire a batter and took the loss for Notre Dame. He allowed a hit and a walk and was charged with three unearned runs.

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