CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Cody Stubbs tallied three hits Tuesday night but none was bigger than his game-winning RBI single to push No. 1 North Carolina (22-1) past VCU (12-10), 3-2, in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Tar Heels had to use a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings after Carolina stranded 17 runners over the first eight innings, including leaving the bases loaded in three frames.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the bottom half of the ninth inning Carolina's cleanup hitter, Skye Bolt, opened the inning by dropping down a drag bunt for a leadoff single.
Stubbs followed by laying down a bunt to the right side of the infield and forced the second baseman to make a play. Stubbs reached first for the infield single but the second baseman attempted to flip the ball behind his back to the first baseman and the ball rolled into foul territory allowing Bolt to reach third base.
With runners at the corners and nobody out, Michael Russell hit his fifth hard-hit ball of the night to shallow left field. Bolt tagged from third base and beat the throw that was cut off by the third baseman as UNC tied the game at 2-2.
The Tar Heels would be unable to end the game in the ninth but after a scoreless inning from Chris McCue in the top half of the 10th freshman Landon Lassiter started a one-out rally.
Lassiter singled up the middle off of left-handed reliever Matt Lees to reach base with one out in the 10th. Colin Moran nearly ended the game but enabled Lassiter to move into scoring position when he hit a fly ball to the deepest part of the park, dead center field.
VCU had a base open with Lassiter at second and issued Skye Bolt an intentional walk to create a force at every base.
The force would not come into play, however, as Stubbs laced a ball into the right center field gap and two-hopped the outfield wall as Lassiter came around to score and give UNC a 3-2 win.
The Tar Heels took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when Chaz Frank singled home Brian Holberton with a RBI hit that floated over the VCU second baseman to give starter Hobbs Johnson a narrow lead.
The Rams would answer in the top of the fifth with two runs in a two-out rally. Johnson retired the first two batters in the inning before the leadoff man Bill Cullen singled and James Bunn dropped down a bunt that Johnson was unable to field cleanly.
Joey Cujas would deliver the big hit in the inning as he sent a single into the right center field gap allowing two runs to score after a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position.
The Tar Heel bullpen would shut the door on the Rams the rest of the night as Chris Munnelly, Tate Parrish, Trevor Kelley combined on five innings of one-hit ball to keep the Tar Heels within striking distance before the ninth inning heroics.
Stubbs and Mike Zolk each finished the night with three hits, while Frank and Lassiter added in two hits apiece. Skye Bolt reached base a team-high five times with three walks and a pair of singles.
Carolina will look to keep its six-game winning streak going on Wednesday when they host Winthrop at 4 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.