Emanuel Shuts Down Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Junior left-hander Kent Emanuel opened ACC play in impressive fashion Friday night in Winston-Salem, N.C. as he recorded his second shutout of the season in a 4-0 win.
Emanuel struck out seven over his nine innings of work en route to claiming his 20th career win in UNC's ACC opener.
The junior worked his way out of trouble in the very first inning as the Demon Deacons put runners on the corners with one out but Emanuel forced a double-play ball to escape danger.
The Tar Heels then provided their ace some run support in the next half inning.
A leadoff walk by Skye Bolt opened the inning before Cody Stubbs rifled a ball into the right field corner for a double. A strikeout looking and a walk would load the bases for Mike Zolk who laced a single past the second baseman and into right field to put UNC up 1-0.
The Tar Heels would strand the bases loaded in the inning but freshman Skye Bolt would tack on another run in the third inning.
Bolt hit a fly ball to deep right field that carried just enough to clear the right field fence for his first career home run.
The two-run output would be all the Tar Heels would need with Emanuel on the mound.
Emanuel would surrender a walk in the second and third innings before tossing a 1-2-3 fourth inning. A Demon Deacon runner would not reach second base after the first inning until the ninth as Emanuel kept the Wake Forest offense in check.
Carolina would strike for a pair of unearned runs in the sixth when Stubbs came around to score on an errant throw by the shortstop and Matt Roberts tripled in another run to provide the 4-0 advantage.
Emanuel would set down nine of the next 10 batters he faced in the sixth through eighth innings and entered the ninth with a comfortable 4-0 lead.
The Demon Deacons would not go quietly in their final at bat as they opened the frame with back-to-back singles before Emanuel forced a ground ball to first.
A pair of strikeouts capped off the second shutout of the season for Emanuel and the third of his illustrious career.
Carolina and Wake Forest will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. as sophomore Benton Moss will take the mound for UNC.