May 13, 2012
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Sophomore Shane Taylor was forced into duty Sunday afternoon and threw a gem for the Tar Heels as he held Duke to just one hit and eight strikeouts over eight innings of work in a 3-0 series sweep.
The win helped the Tar Heels clinch the top spot in the ACC Coastal division as they hold a three-game lead over Virginia with a three-game lead and the tiebreaker.
Huber nearly cruised through the lineup the first time around but Parks Jordan and Chaz Frank started a two-out rally with back-to-back singles in the third. A pop out would end the threat for the Tar Heels.
A one out walk would put the second runner of the day on base for Duke in the third as the lineup turned over to Jeff Kremer. The designated hitter sent a line drive to the right side of the infield but it hit the runner at first for the second out of the inning on a runner's interference which awarded Kremer first base with a hit.
The hit would be the last of the day for the Blue Devils as Taylor struck out the final batter of the third and proceeded to retire the next 15 batters in a row.
Taylor picked up two fly outs and a strikeout in the fourth, three fly outs in the fifth and three balls that Tommy Coyle took care of at second base in the sixth.
Carolina put a pair of runners on in the sixth and one in the seventh but was unable to push across a run in either frame.
Taylor needed just seven pitches to retire the side in the seventh before his offense provided some run support.
Colin Moran started the two-out rally in the eighth when he laced a pitch up the middle for a single.
Jacob Stallings turned on a Huber offering and sent it to left field where Andrew Istler broke back on the ball and was unable to make a diving catch on a ball that dropped in front of him putting runners on the corners.
Head Coach Mike Fox went to his bench for pinch hitter Mike Zolk to face Huber with the go-ahead run on third base.
Zolk slapped a pitch the other way, deep to left field, that bounced off the wall and allowed Moran to score from third and put UNC up 1-0 with a RBI double.
Brian Holberton quickly made it a 3-0 Tar Heel advantage when he sent a single to right field that plated Stallings and Zolk.
Taylor made his way back to the bump for the eighth and was forced to throw just six pitches in his fifth-straight 1-2-3 inning.
Closer Michael Morin came on for the ninth and sat the Blue Devils down in order for his league-leading 16th save of the year and his sixth save in his last six appearances.
Morin is now just two saves shy of tying the school record held by Andrew Carignan (2007) and Thad Crismon (1993) of 18.
The combined one-hitter was the first for the Tar Heels March 17, 2009 when Patrick Johnson, Jimmy Messer, Garrett Davis and Brian Moran one-hit Princeton.
Taylor and Morin helped the Tar Heels throw their first one-hitter against an ACC opponent since Alex White threw a one-hitter against Miami in 2009.
The win, combined with Georgia Tech's win over Virginia, helped the Tar Heels claim the top spot in the ACC Coastal division as UNC holds a three-game lead over Virginia with three games to play. Carolina also holds the tiebreaker of the Cavaliers thanks to a series sweep in Charlottesville earlier this year.
The Tar Heels will return to action Tuesday when they wrap up a four-game road swing at UNC Asheville. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at McCormick Field, the home of the Asheville Tourists.
GO HEELS!!- Posted by Tarheel born
This is just the first step in winning the ACC Tournament and Championship. Florida State will be a very tough opponent if we both get to the Championship game.