TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Wright State baseball program was knocked out of the Terre Haute NCAA Regional with a 5-0 loss to No. 3 seed North Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Bob Warn Field.
The Raiders conclude the 2023 season with a 39-33 overall record, highlighted by their fifth consecutive Horizon League Regular Season title and third-straight Horizon League Championship. WSU had a 22-8 mark against conference opponents in addition to key non-conference wins over nationally-ranked Kentucky, Ohio State (twice), and 2023 NCAA Tournament participant Army (twice).
Wright State trailed by just one run, 1-0, after six innings of play, but the Tar Heels (36-23) broke the game open with a two-out, three-run homer off the bat of Mac Horvath in the bottom of the seventh. North Carolina’s Johnny Castagnozzi laced an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth for the game’s final run.
WSU’s offense struggled in the regional matchup, tallying a season-low four baserunners. The Raiders’ top chance to score transpired in the top of the fifth inning, as Sammy Sass led off the frame with a single, and Julian Greenwell followed with a potential go-ahead two-run homer robbed by UNC outfielder Casey Cook at the right field wall. Andrew Patrick and Greenwell reached second base with two outs in the sixth and seventh frames but were left stranded on groundouts.
North Carolina’s starting pitcher Max Carlson struck out five batters while allowing only one hit in 6.2 innings of work. Dalton Pence collected the save by working 2.1 perfect innings out of the bullpen.
Wright State’s starting pitcher Luke Stofel (5-6) had his way against one of the top offensive teams in the country, holding the Tar Heels to just one run on three hits and four walks while striking out four batters in his first six innings of work. However, UNC’s three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh ended his outing with four runs given up over 116 pitches (65 strikes).
Jake Shirk was tagged for a run on two hits in an inning of relief, while Josh Laisure recorded a strikeout for the final out in the eighth.
Wright State lost its first game against Indiana State on Friday. The Raiders led 5-2 but ISU chipped away with a solo homer of its own in the bottom of the sixth before taking a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth with three runs on three hits and two walks, punctuated by a game-winning two-run single off the bat of Grant Magill.