DURHAM, N.C. --- ACC Pitcher of the Year Kent Emanuel allowed just four hits in eight scoreless innings and North Carolina won its opening game in Pool A of the ACC Championship via the mercy rule, 10-0, over Miami Thursday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Cody Stubbs and Brian Holberton drove in three runs apiece and ACC Player of the Year Colin Moran broke the UNC single-season record for RBIs with his 84th of the year.
Thursday marked Emanuel's fourth career complete-game shutout and his third of the season. The Woodstock, Ga., junior needed just 97 pitches and allowed just one Hurricane baserunner past second base. His only real trouble came when he issued consecutive walks to open the top of the second. But Emanuel (9-3) induced a ground ball from Miami's Alex San Juan and covered first to complete a double play. He then made another athletic defensive play, knocking down a sharp grounder from Garrett Kennedy and cutting down the Hurricane catcher with an acrobatic throw to first to end the threat.
Carolina (49-8) got all the offense it would need in the first as the Tar Heels sent eight men to the plate in a three-run frame. Chaz Frank and Landon Lassiter opened the inning with back-to-back singles, and Frank took third on a Miami throwing error. With runners on the corners, Moran delivered the record-breaking hit, a line drive single to right that scored Frank. Moran now stands alone atop the UNC single-season RBI list, passing Marshall Hubbard's total of 83 from the 2004 campaign.
Holberton made it 3-0 with a two-run, two-out single, and UNC added runs in the third, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to invoke the tournament's 10-run mercy rule.
Stubbs delivered the biggest of his four hits in the third, a two-run single that scored Moran and Skye Bolt and pushed the Carolina advantage to 5-0. The Waynesville, N.C., senior then provided the knockout blow in the eighth, singling down the left field line to score Moran and end the game.
Miami (35-22) starter Andrew Suarez labored through 5.1 innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits to take the loss.
Carolina will face fifth-seeded Clemson Friday night at 7 in its second of three Pool A games. The Tigers are 0-1 so far in the tournament after losing to NC State 6-3 on Wednesday.