MT. PLEASANT - College of Charleston scored seven unanswered runs and used a strong relief performance from true freshman Bailey Ober to down No. 12 North Carolina, 7-4, on Opening Day at Patriots Point.
College of Charleston (1-0) has now won eight straight season openers, while the win marked the 11th victory over a ranked team in the Monte Lee era. North Carolina (0-1) advanced to the College World Series and finished in third place in 2013.
Ober (1-0) entered in the fifth inning after starter Nathan Helvey surrendered four runs in the fourth frame to the Tar Heels. Ober proceeded to shut down UNC, retiring 13 straight hitters until the ninth inning when he allowed two singles. He finished with four strikeouts and no walks in five shutout innings for the win in his first collegiate appearance.
North Carolina starter Benton Moss was tagged with four of the CofC runs in the fifth, while reliever Reilly Hovis (0-1) surrendered the final run in that inning and two more in the seventh to get tagged with the loss.
College of Charleston started slow, not recording a hit until the top of the fifth inning when Carl Wise hit a liner down the third-base line. He finished the game with three hits and two RBIs.
The Cougars then exploded with five runs in the sixth inning, taking advantage of an error by UNC first baseman Joe Dudek and a miscommunication on a trailing fly ball that fell just inside the right field line with the bases loaded. After an RBI sacrifice fly from Ben Boykin made it a 4-2 game, redshirt junior Brandon Glazer launched a three-run opposite field home run to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead and excite the crowd of 976 fans.
Sophomore Blake Butler added insurance for CofC in the seventh with an RBI triple to right field. Wise delivered a two-out RBI hit off the leg of UNC's pitcher to score Butler and make it 7-4.
The Tar Heels threatened in the ninth inning with two singles by Wood Myers and Tom Zengel. Pinch-hitter Zach Daly then lined a ball into center field, but sophomore Morgan Phillips, who had just entered as a defensive replacement, made a diving catch that saved two runs. Ober then struck out Tyler Ramirez and the Cougars celebrated the 7-4 win.
College of Charleston will face the Tar Heels at 2 p.m. Sunday at Patriots Point.