Moss Moves Tar Heels To 38-2
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Sophomore right-hander Benton Moss allowed one run on five hits as he claimed his seventh win of the year Saturday night in UNC's (38-2, 17-2 ACC) 4-1 series-clinching win over Duke (22-19, 8-12 ACC).
Moss (7-0) struck out six in his 6.2 innings of work on Saturday to give Carolina the doulbeheader sweep over the Blue Devils.
The Tar Heels struck for two runs in the first inning for the second consecutive game to back up their starting pitcher.
Chaz Frank opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a Landon Lassiter single to center field.
Colin Moran would be hit by a pitch to load the bases before Brian Holberton and Cody Stubbs followed with back-to-back RBI ground outs to give Carolina the early lead.
The Blue Devils answered back in the top of the second when Jordan Betts hit his second solo home run in as many games to pull Duke within one at 2-1.
Parks Jordan opened the second inning with a leadoff double but was cut down on a sacrifice bunt attempt as Duke's starter Trent Swart (4-3) started to settle in.
Both teams threatened in the fifth inning when Duke's Andy Perez singled with two outs, moved to second on a balk and stole third base. Moss struck out Jeff Kremer looking to strand the tying run at third base and keep the Tar Heels in front.
Carolina put runners on the corners with two outs in its half of the fifth inning but Cody Stubbs flew out to right field for the third out.
The Blue Devils appeared to be mounting a charge in the sixth inning with the first two batters singling to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Moss buckled down and forced a weak bunt pop out to first base, a strike out swinging and an infield fly to end the danger.
A Blue Devil error would lead to an insurance run for Moss and the Tar Heels in the sixth inning as Michael Russell reached on a dropped throw by the first baseman and moved to second on the error. A wild pitch pushed Russell to third base before Parks Jordan pushed the lead to 3-1 with a RBI single to right field.
Landon Lassiter doubled to open the seventh inning for the Tar Heels and came around to score from third base on a balk by relief pitcher Nick Hendrix putting Carolina in front, 4-1.
After closing out the seventh inning with a comebacker, relief pitcher Chris McCue threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning and freshman right-hander Trent Thornton put the finishing touches on the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
The save was the third of the year for Thornton.
Lassiter finished the contest with a team-high three hits and scored a pair of runs, while Parks Jordan was 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Carolina claimed the series victory, its seventh of the year, and will go for the sweep on Sunday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.