CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Ricky Santiago hit a three-run homer in the seventh to help Florida Atlantic beat No. 1 overall seed North Carolina 3-2 on Sunday night in the NCAA tournament's Chapel Hill regional.
The teams meet Monday night to determine the regional title.
Santiago's blast was the first hit for the second-seeded Owls (42-21) and one of three all night. But the Tar Heels (54-9), while managing 12 hits, left 15 runners on base and repeatedly came up empty in key moments.
UNC starter Hobbs Johnson had pitched six no-hit innings and the Tar Heels were in control behind an RBI single by Colin Moran and a sacrifice fly by Michael Russell. But after Johnson left following his fifth walk, Santiago knocked a pitch from reliever Trevor Kelley (2-1) over the left-field wall for the 3-2 lead.
Reliever Michael Sylvestri (4-2) earned the win by allowing no hits in two scoreless innings.
AP/ WFMY News 2 Sports