Tar Heels Roll Past Hokies, 21-8
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- No. 1 North Carolina set season highs in runs and hits in Friday's series opener at Virginia Tech (22-13, 7-9 ACC) as the Tar Heels posted a 21-8 win over the Hokies.
The Tar Heels (32-2, 13-2 ACC) used the big inning to their advantage once again as they staked starting pitcher Kent Emanuel to a 6-0 lead before he even stepped foot on the mound.
The Hokies would answer with a four-run bottom half of the first to keep the game close before the Tar Heel bats proved to be too much as Carolina trotted 13 men to the plate in an eight-run fourth inning to blow the game open.
Brian Holberton and Chaz Frank led the 21-hit parade with four knocks apiece, while Holberton came around to score a career-high five runs and Frank was responsible for a career-high four RBIs. Frank also connected on his first career home run, a three-run shot in the six-run first inning.
Colin Moran, Landon Lassiter and Michaell Russell all came around to score three times in the rout as 10 different Tar Heels recorded a hit. Cody Stubbs was responsible for three RBIs on the night as he hit his fourth home run of the year.
Emanuel settled down after the shaky first and gave the Tar Heel bullpen a rest as he went eight innings and allowed a career-high eight runs, six of which were earned. The win improves Emanuel to 7-1 on the year and 24-6 in his career, which ties for the ninth most in UNC history.
The 21 runs and 21 hits are the most for a Tar Heel club since the 2010 group won 25-1 on 22 hits against Princeton on March 16, 2010.
The Tar Heels will go for their sixth ACC series win of the year on Saturday as Benton Moss toes the rubber for Carolina against Virginia Tech's Joe Mantiply.