DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomore Kent Emanuel twirled a gem Friday night going eight innings allowing just one run on five hits and striking out six to earn his seventh win of the year in a 2-1 UNC win over Duke. Junior closer Michael Morin closed the door on his ACC-leading 15th save of the year and Chaz Frank added a RBI triple to help UNC improve to 36-13 on the year and 17-8 in the ACC.
Carolina nearly pushed across a run in top of the first against Duke starter Marcus Stroman when Chaz Frank singled to open the game and Tommy Coyle drew a walk but the 3-4-5 hitters were unable to plate the pair as Stroman worked out of danger.
The junior right-hander was not as lucky in the top of the second inning when a defensive miscue led to a pair of runs all with two outs.
Parks Jordan started the two-out rally with a single to left field before Adam Griffin moved him to third base with a single of his own through the right side.
With runners on the corners and two outs, Griffin attempted to steal second but stopped between first and second to draw a throw. Duke's catcher threw down to second base but the throw sailed into center field allowing Jordan to score and Griffin to advance to third base.
Lead off man Chaz Frank notched his second hit in as many innings when he split the gap in right center for his fifth triple of the year to make it a 2-0 game.
After allowing a single in the first inning, Kent Emanuel retired the next eight batters he faced to keep the Tar Heels in front, 2-0.
Stroman followed by setting down nine Tar Heels in a row from the third through fifth innings to keep the Blue Devils within striking distance.
The Blue Devils finally cracked Emanuel's armor in the seventh when Jordan Betts opened the frame with a double just off the glove of center fielder Chaz Frank. Andy Perez made it a 2-1 ball game with a RBI single up the middle to score Betts and snap an impressive scoreless streak for Emanuel.
The sophomore left-hander had not allowed a run since April 20, a span of 24 consecutive scoreless innings after posting scoreless wins over East Carolina and Boston College.
Emanuel settled down after allowing the run by picking off Perez at first base and forcing back-to-back ground outs.
Following a scoreless eighth out of Emanuel, closer Michael Morin on for the ninth and retired all three batters he faced to secure his league-leading 15th save of the year.
With the save Morin moved into a tie for third place in the UNC single season saves list and is three shy of tying the school record of 18 set by Andrew Carignan in 2007 and Thad Crisman in 1993.
Carolina will look for its 10th series win of the year on Saturday when it takes on Duke at 2 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Freshman Benton Moss will toe the rubber for Carolina, while Duke will counter with left-hander Trent Swart.