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The Tar Heels smash 21 hits, the highest number the Hokies have allowed since 2005, in a 21-8 win.
Dave Knachel | Virginia Tech
A North Carolina runner scores as Virginia Tech catcher Mark Zagunis awaits the throw. The top-ranked Tar Heels opened the game with six runs in the first inning.
Friday, April 12, 2013
BLACKSBURG — North Carolina ace Kent Emanuel had the worst outing of his college career Friday.
It didn’t matter.
The No. 1-ranked Tar Heels banged out 21 hits and clobbered Virginia Tech 21-8 at English Field.
“It was kind of a launch pad,” Emanuel said.
The 21 runs were the most the Hokies have given up since a 27-2 defeat at Georgia Tech in 2005.
The football-like score prompted Tech coach Pete Hughes to crack that his team hopes to do better on special teams today.
UNC (32-2, 13-2 ACC), which took the lead for good in the first inning, is ranked No. 1 by Baseball America. UNC is also No. 1 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll.
Emanuel (7-1), rated the No. 21 college prospect in the country for this year’s major-league draft by Baseball America, pitched the first eight innings. The junior left-hander gave up the most hits (14), runs (eight) and earned runs (six) he has allowed in his UNC career.
“That was and will be the worst outing of my college career,” said Emanuel, a preseason All-American who was clocked at 91 mph. “It just goes to show what our offense is like this year. A win like this, I don’t know if I’ve had any like this in my career where it’s really just come down to us outhitting them.”
It was the most hits Tech (22-13, 7-9) has allowed since 2005.
Tech, which used five pitchers, fell to 1-21 against UNC since joining the ACC.
UNC scored six runs in the top of the first, but the Hokies answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning.
Leading just 7-5, the Tar Heels scored eight runs in the top of the fourth to build a 15-5 cushion.
“That was a crazy game, a crazy start. I’ve never seen anything like that,” UNC coach Mike Fox said. “It was kind of a pitcher’s nightmare there to start the game — the ball looks big to all the hitters and the wind’s blowing out and it’s a fairly small strike zone.
“I’ve never seen that many balls hit hard and that many hits so early in the game.”
The Tar Heels entered the game ranked first in the nation in both runs (8.9 per game) and scoring margin (outscoring foes by 6.4 runs per game).
“They’re tough to pitch to and you can’t really match up with them,” Hughes said. “We got behind in a lot of counts, and that’s where we got hurt. That’s what good lineups will do to you. You can’t give them extra outs, you can’t give them free passes and you’ve got to stay out of fastball counts.”
Tech starter Brad Markey (3-3) was pulled after 3 1⁄ 3 innings. He allowed 12 hits, including two homers, and 12 runs (11 earned).
“We needed a quality start,” Hughes said. “We just didn’t get it.”
The Tar Heels recorded their most runs and their most hits in three years.
Brian Holberton had four hits and scored five runs for the Tar Heels. Chaz Frank had four hits and four RBIs. Colin Moran, rated the No. 3 college prospect in the nation by Baseball America, added three hits and four RBIs.
Gary Schneider had two hits, including a two-run homer, for Tech. The Hokies had 15 hits.
North Carolina 601 813 200 21 21 3
Virginia Tech 401 000 120 8 15 5
Emanuel, Taylor (9) and Roberts; Markey, Campbell (4), Collazo (6), Hodges (8), Kennedy (9) and Zagunis. W— Emanuel (7-1). L— Markey (3-3). HRs— UNC: Stubbs (4), Frank (1); VT: Schneider (2).
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