Harvey Lifts Heels To Victory

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two days after top-ranked North Carolina's pitching failed to perform in an opening day loss at the ACC Championship, freshman Matt Harvey tossed a two-hit gem on Friday night to lead the Tar Heels to a 2-0 victory over Wake Forest at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Harvey threw eight shutout innings and struck out a career-high 13, as the Demon Deacons (24-31) never got a runner to second base. Relief pitchers Rob Wooten and Brian Moran combined with their starter to retire the last nine batters.

"Matt was sensational tonight and you can see why he was so highly touted out of high school," head coach Mike Fox said. "He's been like that for us through the year just small stretches...an inning here, or three or four innings there and then he's lost command of his fastball but, tonight he was from the first inning on through the eighth, he had great control and his change up was good early."

The Mystic, Conn., native retired 24 of the 28 Demon Deacons that he faced on the night en route to recording the longest outing by a UNC starter on the season.

"I was able to get ahead with the fast ball – that definitely helped me setting up the other pitches," Harvey said. "I just tried to go out there and do something I hadn't done since the beginning of the season...just go out there and give our fielders a chance to field and luckily it was working pretty well."

Wake Forest head coach Rick Rembielak admitted after the game that his squad just ran into a Tar Heel buzz saw on the mound.

"Obviously he had all his pitches going for him tonight…," Rembielak said. "He is a good pitcher and we knew what he was going to bring to the table. We had to stick to a game plan and he got us out of that by making us chase some pitches out of the zone. Against something like that, it's going to be very difficult to come out successful."

Harvey (7-2) and Wake Forest starter Charlie Mellies (4-6) were locked in a pitching duel with the game scoreless through five innings. The Demon Deacon allowed six hits in his third consecutive complete game.

The Tar Heels (46-11) finally got to Mellies in the sixth when Tim Fedroff (2-of-4) hit a two-out solo homer in the sixth, his 12th of the year. North Carolina added another run in the eighth when Dustin Ackley singled and scored on an error and a wild pitch.

UNC's victory in the Division B bracket secured sixth-seeded Virginia's appearance in the conference championship game on Sunday afternoon, who will face the winner of the No. 1 seed Miami and No. 4 seed North Carolina State game tomorrow afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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