CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No. 1 North Carolina saw its second winning streak of 14 or more games come to an end Tuesday night as No. 21 UNC Wilmington knocked off the Tar Heels, 9-8.
The Tar Heels (39-3) scored two runs in each of the first three innings to take a 6-0 lead before UNC Wilmington put up a six-spot in the top of the fourth to even things up.
Cody Stubbs opened the scoring for the Tar Heels as he hit a shot into right center field in the bottom of the first and Chaz Frank trotted home from third, while Colin Moran scored from first when the centerfielder misplayed the ball.
Moran would be responsible for a run in the second when he singled up the middle to score Parks Jordan and would later take part in a double steal with Landon Lassiter. Moran swiped second base as the catcher's throw was snagged by the pitcher and with Lassiter in no-man's land between third base and home, the freshman bolted for the plate and slid in under the tag.
The first three Tar Heels of the third reached as Stubbs doubled, Michael Russell reached on an infield single and Mike Zolk plated a run with a RBI single to right field.
With the infield drawn in, Parks Jordan hit a sharp ground ball that was bobbled by the shortstop and Russell was able to score from third to put UNC up 6-0.
The Seahawks would chase starter Chris Munnelly in the fourth inning after Munnelly retired two of the first four batters in the frame. Back-to-back walks would force in a run as reliever Trevor Kelley came on for the Tar Heels.
UNC Wilmington would chase Kelley as well with a two-run single, a hit by pitch and a bases-loaded single to tie the score. Chris McCue would enter for the Tar Heels and retire Corey Dick thanks to a strikeout to end the inning.
Junior third baseman Colin Moran pushed UNC back in front 8-6 on a two-run home run, his 10th of the year, in the fourth inning after Landon Lassiter narrowly missed a home run of his own when he tripled off the top of the left field wall.
The Seahawks (31-11) struck for a single unearned run in the seventh to pull within one run before Tyler Molinaro recorded the biggest hit of the night.
Molinaro sent a Trent Thornton offering out of the ballpark to right center field to plate in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning and put UNC Wilmington up 9-8.
Carolina would put a runner on base in the eighth and two more in the ninth but were unable to come up with the key hit to keep the game alive.
The trio of Colin Moran, Cody Stubbs and Michael Russell all registered two hits apiece, while Moran drove in three more RBIs and now has 65 for the year.
The loss is just the third of the year for the Tar Heels who will host Charlotte at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
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