BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Junior Colin Moran drove in four runs and scored five more Saturday afternoon but none was bigger than the game-winner in the 10th inning at Virginia Tech in a 9-8 UNC win.
The Tar Heels jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the top half of the first inning as Moran and Cody Stubbs each recorded a pair of RBI singles.
After Carolina stranded the bases loaded to end the top half of the first inning, Virginia Tech evened the contest for the first of three times when Andrew Rash hit a game-tying two run home run in the bottom half of the first.
A day after the Tar Heel bats erupted for 21 runs Carolina looked to be en route to another big day at the plate after Colin Moran connected on his team-leading ninth home run of the year to put UNC back in front in the second inning.
The Hokies pulled a run back in the third on a sacrifice fly before Mike Zolk hit a sacrifice fly of his own in the top half of the fourth to keep the lead at three runs, 6-3.
Rash would get to starter Benton Moss again in the bottom half of the fourth inning as the Hokies put two of the first three batters on base ahead of Rash. The Hokie right fielder would send a shot down the left field line that hooked around the foul pole to knot things up at 6-6.
The fifth inning saw both teams settle down after surrending 12 runs through the first four innings of the contest.
Hokie starter Joe Mantiply and reliever Jake Joyce combined on a 1-2-3 fifth inning before Moss answered with a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the bottom half.
A scoreless sixth inning led to some fireworks in the seventh inning as Carolina loaded the bases against Joyce with two outs in the inning.
Landon Lassiter stepped into the batter's box to face Joyce and battled to a full count before he was called out on strikes. UNC Head Coach Mike Fox did not agree with the call and was ejected by home plate umpire Frank Neves.
Sophomore Chris McCue came on to close out the sixth inning for the Tar Heels and followed the inning up with a 1-2-3 seventh inning to keep the score at 6-6.
Moran opened the Tar Heel half of the eighth by drawing a walk ahead of Brian Holberton. The cleanup man squared to bunt on a 0-1 pitch before getting the green light at 1-1. Holberton unleashed a blast to right field that would clear the fences and put UNC back in front 8-6.
McCue would find trouble in the eight through no fault of his own as the Hokies loaded the bases on a jam shot to center, a fielding error and a bunt that stayed in fair territory.
Freshman Trent Thornton would enter with the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning. Thornton would walk the first batter he faced to force in a run before a single to left tied the game at 8-8.
A strikeout swinging and a comebacker put two outs on the board before Thornton struck out Tyler Horan looking to end the threat and keep the game tied.
Neither team would threaten in the ninth before Moran opened the 10th with another leadoff walk.
Holberton would drop down a sacrifice bunt and a misplay would allow both runners to reach safely for Cody Stubbs.
The senior first baseman forced the Hokie defense into action with a ground ball to shortstop that put runners on the corners with one out.
With Michael Russell squaring for a sacrifice squeeze bunt, Virginia Tech reliever Clark Labitan threw an inside pitch that forced Russell to duck out of the way but the ball got past the catcher and Moran came racing home and slid head first into home plate to put UNC up 9-8.
Thornton came out for the bottom half of the 10th inning and retired the Hokies in order to record his eighth win of the year. The eight wins for Thornton puts him into a tie for the national lead in wins.
Moran finished the day with a team-high three hits, while he set a career high with five runs scored. Lassiter, Holberton, Stubbs and Roberts all contributed two hits in UNC's 14-hit effort Saturday.
The win gives Carolina its sixth ACC series win of the year and the Tar Heels will go for their fourth ACC series sweep on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m.