CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Junior left-hander Kent Emanuel opened the Diamond Heels season in impressive fashion Friday afternoon as he shut out Seton Hall in a 1-0 North Carolina win.
Emanuel surrendered just four hits on the afternoon as he became the first Tar Heel since 1967 to throw a season-opening shutout. The Woodstock, Ga., native struck out five batters and did not issue a walk in leading the top-ranked Tar Heels to the 1-0 win.
The Tar Heels were able to scratch out a run against Seton Hall right-hander Jon Prosinski in the sixth inning, the only blemish on the senior's final line.
Carolina had been held in check the first time through the lineup before freshman Skye Bolt opened the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff single through the right side.
Junior Brian Holberton battled Prosinski through a good at bat before drawing a walk and making Bolt the first player on either team to reach second base on the day. Junior catcher Matt Roberts moved the pair into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and flipped the lineup over for Chaz Frank.
Frank fell behind 1-2 in the count before hitting a shallow fly to center field. Bolt tagged up from third and slid in just under the throw from center fielder Zack Granite.
The Pirates threatened against Emanuel in the final two frames but the southpaw was able to escape danger. Scott Kalamar opened the eighth with a single through the middle and moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Kyle Grimm.
Emanuel was able to corral a comebacker for out number two before getting Dillon Hamlin swinging to end the frame.
Another leadoff single opened the final frame, and a dropped throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt put two on with nobody out in the ninth for Seton Hall.
A sacrifice bunt moved the go-ahead run into scoring position to put the pressure on the Tar Heels. Emanuel was able to strike out Giuseppe Papaccio looking for the second out of the inning.
Sal Annunziata hit a high chopper back to the mound but Emanuel was able to make a leaping grab and a throw to first to seal the game away.
Bolt finished his collegiate debut with a pair of singles, while Parks Jordan and Michael Russell each added a single.
The Tar Heels and Pirates are set to square off again on Saturday with first pitch tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m.