CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Junior left-hander Kent Emanuel threw his third complete game of the year Saturday to earn his 25th career win in UNC's (37-2, 16-2 ACC) 7-1 series-opening win over Duke (22-18, 8-11 ACC).
Emanuel surrendered just two hits on the afternoon as he improved to 8-1 on the year, eclipsing the eight-win mark for the third consecutive season.
The Tar Heels provided Emanuel two quick runs of support in the bottom of the first as Carolina pushed across a pair of runs without recording a hit.
Chaz Frank opened the first inning by drawing a walk against Duke starter Drew Van Orden (2-5) before stealing second base and moving to third on a Landon Lassiter ground out. A bases-loaded hit by pitch with Michael Russell at the plate forced Frank in before a wild pitch scored Colin Moran.
Emanuel allowed a walk and a single in the first inning before settling in as he retired the side in order in six of the next eight innings.
The Tar Heels added a run in the fourth when Matt Roberts doubled to open the frame before scoring from third on a passed ball.
Brian Holberton would connect on his seventh home run of the year to open the fifth inning and push the UNC lead to 4-0 before a Parks Jordan sacrifice fly would score Michael Russell later in the inning.
Carolina would add single runs in the sixth and seventh innings after Jordan Betts hit a solo home run against Emanuel in the seventh inning, only the second hit allowed by the Tar Heel southpaw on the day.
Emanuel would record a pair of strikeouts looking to close out the eighth inning before getting a ground out and back-to-back fly outs to close out the win.
Brian Holberton paced the Tar Heels at the plate with three extra-base hits, a home run and two doubles. Chaz Frank tallied a pair of hits and scored two runs as did Michael Russell.
Carolina goes for the series win tonight at 6 p.m.