CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - No. 6 North Carolina dropped its second midweek contest of the year Wednesday night as Liberty claimed a 5-3 win at Boshamer Stadium. The Flames (31-10) went ahead on a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning before adding a pair of runs in the ninth to drop the Tar Heels to 28-10 on the year.
Junior right-hander Chris Munnelly allowed two runs on five hits over five innings of work in his ninth start of the year. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native allowed a solo home run in the second to Tyler Cox before the Tar Heels answered in the bottom half.
Cody Stubbs opened the frame with a lead off double down the left field line and came around to score when Michael Russell lifted a single into center field to even things up at 1-1.
The Flames answered right back in the top half of the third when they opened the frame with a lead off double. Munnelly retired the next two batters before issuing a walk to put runners on first and second for Cox.
A line drive to right dropped in front of right fielder Adam Griffin who came up firing to the plate. First baseman Parks Jordan cut off the throw and relayed to third to cut down the trail runner and end the inning but not before Liberty regained the lead at 2-1.
The score would remain that way until the sixth inning when the Flames lifted starter Brooks Roy for reliever Jared Lyons. Jacob Stallings greeted Lyons by singling up the middle with one down.
After a Tar Heel strikeout, Russell worked a full count which put Stallings in motion and delivered a shot into the left center gap that scored Stallings from first and tied the contest at 2-2.
Liberty would load the bases in the eighth off of relievers Hobbs Johnson and Mason McCullough before Carolina summoned closer Michael Morin in from the bullpen. Morin worked the count to 0-2 before Alex Close connected on a ball that sent left fielder Brian Holberton to the warning track. Holberton made the grab for the second out but all three runners advanced a base to put Liberty in front, 3-2.
Carolina threatened in the bottom of the eighth by putting runners on the corners with one out but a rally-killing double play ended the threat.
Liberty carried the momentum into the top of the ninth where it tacked on two more runs to take a 5-2 advantage.
Carolina pulled a run back in the ninth off of Friday starter John Niggli but hit into another double play that thwarted the rally.
The setback was the first in six games for the Tar Heels who had won five straight entering the contest, including five straight midweek games.
Carolina will look to get back on track on Friday when it hosts ACC Coastal division foe Georgia Tech in a three-game series. First pitch Friday night is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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