No. 11 UNC outlasts East Carolina
Frank delivers walk-off single in bottom of 10th to lift Tar Heels
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Chaz Frank tallied three hits Wednesday night but none was bigger than the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th as he helped lead the No. 11 Tar Heels past East Carolina 1-0. Michael Morin notched the win, his fifth of the year, with 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Mike Zolk worked a walk with two outs in the 10th and became the first Tar Heel base runner to reach since the sixth inning. Zolk was on the move with the first pitch to Parks Jordan who sent a ball through the right side to put runners at the corners for Frank against ECU closer Tanner Merritt.
Frank was facing a 2-2 count against Merritt when he chopped a single through the infield and past a diving Jack Reinheimer at shortstop allowing Zolk to score from third and give the Tar Heels the 1-0 walk-off win.
The 1-0 win is the first for the Tar Heels since a 1-0 victory against Southern California on March 3. The win marked the fourth walk-off victory for the Tar Heels this season after registering three walk-off wins in the span of six games from March 25-April 1.
Kent Emanuel got the start for the Tar Heels with the weekend off for exam break and twirled a gem as he went 8.1 innings not allowing a run and striking out seven.
Emanuel retired 14 of the 15 batters he faced from the second inning through the sixth inning as East Carolina's Jeff Hoffman matched him pitch-for-pitch in his seven shutout frames.
Carolina put a runner on base in the first six innings but were never able to push across the go-ahead run until the single run in the 10th.
East Carolina threatened Emanuel in the eighth when Reinheimer reached with a lead off single and the Pirates used small ball to move him to third but the southpaw forced a ground out to Tommy Coyle at second base to end the threat.
After a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Tar Heels the Pirates threatened once again in the ninth.
Leadoff man Tim Younger hit a ball deep in the hole between first and second and Coyle made a diving stop but his throw was not in time to get Younger. Emanuel struck out the next batter for his seventh punch out of the night before closer Michael Morin was summoned from the bullpen.
Morin struck out Corey Thompson looking for the second out of the inning before issuing a walk to put the go-ahead run at second base.
ECU's Zach Wright hit a ball up the middle but shortstop Michael Russell was able to range to his left and keep it from reaching the outfield. Russell fired to first to try and end the inning but Wright was able to beat out the throw. Younger made an aggressive base running play on the single and attempted to score from second base.
First baseman Cody Stubbs received Russell's throw and immediately fired to Jacob Stallings at the plate who blocked Younger's path and tagged him out to record the final out of the eighth.
Merritt recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning before Morin matched with a scoreless inning of his own in the 10th and Frank's heroics in the bottom half gave UNC the win.
Carolina moved its home winning streak over East Carolina to 14 games with the victory and the Tar Heels have now won five consecutive against the Pirates.