Considering his counterpart, Stanford starter Mark Appel needed to be exceptional if the Cardinal was going to steal Game 1 of its best-of-three Super Regional series against North Carolina. The sophomore was merely very good, while UNC's Patrick Johnson dominated, as UNC defeated Stanford 5-2 at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill.
Johnson didn't allow a runner past second base and left after 7.2 innings, his scoreless streak at 30.2 innings. The Tar Heels led 3-0 after scoring an unearned run in the second inning and getting two more on a home run by Seth Baldwin in the bottom of the seventh. Stanford scraped across two runs in the eighth, ending Johnson's streak after Michael Morin allowed an inherited runner to score, but UNC answered back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
Stephen Piscotty and Brian Ragira had two hits apiece for Stanford, which managed only seven hits as a team. Tyler Gaffney extended his hitting streak to 21 games in the loss. Appel allowed two earned runs on seven hits in six innings.
Game 2 is Saturday at noon PT on ESPN.