Tar Heels Hold Off Dukes, 9-5
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No. 1 North Carolina used a four-run first inning to run out to a 7-0 lead after five innings before holding on for a 9-5 win over James Madison (20-24) Tuesday at Boshamer Stadium.
Freshman Landon Lassiter paced the offense at the plate as he went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs for the top-ranked Tar Heels (43-4).
Cody Stubbs also drove in three runs for the Tar Heels who improved to 24-1 in non-conference action this season.
Junior left-hander Hobbs Johnson claimed his second consecutive midweek win as he allowed just one hit and struck out four, while working around five walks. Johnson improves to 4-0 on the year and lowers his ERA to 2.00 for the year.
Carolina added single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to push the lead to 7-0 after five frames.
The Dukes would get to the Tar Heel bullpen in the seventh inning when they sent nine men to the plate and the Tar Heel hurlers walked four batters.
A bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly would plate two runs in the seventh before a single fell into left center for Tyler Duke to score two more runs and cut the deficiit to 7-4. A wild pitch would score another for James Madison before Tate Parrish came on and struck out Matt Tenaglia to end the threat.
Freshman closer Trent Thornton came on with two runners on and only one out in the eighth inning and quickly forced a foul pop out to the catcher and a ground ball to first to end the inning.
Thornton would toss a scoreless ninth inning to put the cap on his fourth save of the year.
Carolina will host James Madison again on Wednesday as Chris Munnelly will take the mound for the Tar Heels. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.