The Canes took the early lead after Steven Perez reached on a double and was brought home on a Chantz Mack ground-out. UM held that 1-0 lead until the top of the third when UNC got on the board.
Miami quickly responded with back-to-back doubles in the fourth, the first from Mack and the second from Brad Feiger, driving Mack home. Peter O’Brien singled to left, advancing Feiger to third, but when Michael Broad reached on a fielder’s choice, Feiger was thrown out at home, leaving the Canes with a 2-1 lead after four.
Perez walked in the bottom of the fifth, stole second and made it to third after a Mack grounder allowed him to reach second on a throwing error, scoring Perez and putting Miami up, 3-1.
North Carolina wasn’t done, though, putting up two in the top of the seventh when pinch hitter Grayson Atwood sent a two-run shot over the left field wall, tying the game, 3-3.
The bottom of the seventh proved to be magic hour for Miami, putting the Canes ahead for good. Perez singled up the middle, up 3-1 in the count and with two outs, setting the stage for Dale Carey, who grinded out a tough at-bat.
After fouling a pitch off his foot, Carey sent the 1-2 pitch over the left field wall, putting Miami up, 5-3 for good.
Steven Ewing pitched a gem for ‘The U’, going eight innings, allowing eight hits, three runs and striking out four. AJ Salcines came in to clean up in the ninth, giving up one hit and striking out there en route to the upset.
Miami’s take-down of North Carolina, coupled with Wake Forest’s win over NC State, puts the Canes in position to reach Sunday’s championship game.
Miami must beat Wake on Friday afternoon and North Carolina has to take down NC State on Saturday afternoon. If so, UM will be one win away from an ACC Championship, despite an up and down conference run this season.