CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No. 1 North Carolina (23-1) used a four-run seventh inning en route to a 6-2 win over visiting Winthrop (8-17) Wednesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning when Michael Russell opened the frame with a double and came around to score on a Landon Lassiter RBI single.
Lassiter made his way to third base before crossing the plate on a Skye Bolt sacrifice fly to give freshman right-hander Trent Thornton a 2-0 lead to work with.
Thornton surrendered just three hits in five scoreless innings of work before getting in trouble in the sixth inning.
The Eagles put the first two men on with singles before a sacrifice bunt moved the pair into scoring position. A RBI groundout would snap Thornton's scoreless inning streak before another single would tie the contest at 2-2.
The run for the Eagles in the sixth would bring an end to the longest scoreless inning streak of the year for any Tar Heel pitcher as Thornton had a stretch of 20.1 innings without allowing a run snapped.
Facing a tie ball game in the late inning for the second straight day the Tar Heels started a one-out rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Mike Zolk drew a walk and Parks Jordan stepped into the box as a pinch hitter. Zolk would move into scoring position as he stole second base against reliever Jared Keels. Jordan waited on an off-speed pitch and slapped a single past the drawn-in infield to score Zolk and put Carolina in front, 3-2.
After a fly out to center field and a hit by pitch, Colin Moran stepped in with two outs and two on base. Winthrop brought on left-handed reliever Josh Strong to face the left-handed swinging Moran.
Moran crushed a Strong offering and hit his team-leading fifth home run of the year, a three-run shot over the right center field wall, to put Carolina in front 6-2.
Sophomore right-handers Trevor Kelley and Mason McCullough threw scoreless innings to put a cap on Carolina's 23rd win of the year.
Thornton improved to 5-0 on the year and despite allowing the two earned runs still boasts an ERA below 1.00 at 0.81.
Landon Lassiter picked up a pair of hits and scored twice for the Tar Heels, while Moran tallied the three RBIs to bump his team-leading total to 32 for the year.
Up next for Carolina is a visit from the Clemson Tigers for a three-game ACC series beginning Saturday night. Due to television scheduling the opener will take place Saturday night at 6 p.m., game two will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday night and the finale is set for 6 p.m. on Monday.
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