CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- No. 1 North Carolina used three big innings to claim its 19th win of the season Tuesday night with a 16-0 win over Princeton (1-11) at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels used a three-run fifth inning to blow the game open before adding eight more in the seventh and four more in the eighth to aid freshman starter Trent Thornton.
Thornton improved to 4-0 on the year as he held the Tigers to five hits over seven scoreless innings of work. The Charlotte, N.C., native struck out seven, one shy of his season high, and lowered his ERA to 0.34 for the year.
The Tar Heels struck for a single run in the second inning when Cody Stubbs laced a single up the middle before going from first to third on a single by Michael Russell. Mike Zolk would plate Stubbs with a sacrifice fly to center field and UNC was out in front 1-0.
Princeton starter Kevin Link would keep the Tigers within striking distance until Carolina mounted a two-out rally in the fifth inning.
Colin Moran sent a double into the left center field gap before Skye Bolt drew a walk to put a pair of runners on for Stubbs. The senior first baseman sent a Link offering the other way and into the left field corner to score Moran and Bolt.
A throwing error on a potentially inning-ending groundout would allow Stubbs to score and give UNC a 4-0 advantage after five innings of play.
The Tar Heel bats came to life again in the seventh when Carolina sent 12 batters to the plate and scored eight more runs. Russell, Zolk, Moran, Bolt and Alex Raburn all picked up RBI hits in the inning as Carolina extended its lead to 12-0.
Carolina tacked on four more runs in the eighth as Brian Holberton, Colin Moran, Skye Bolt and Tom Zengeldrove in four consecutive runs for the Tar Heels to provide the final margin.
Sophomore Luis Paula relieved Thornton in the eighth and threw two hitless innings for Carolina.
With the win the Tar Heels improved to 19-1 on the year, a mark that is tied for the second-best 20-game start to a season. The 1999 squad also began the year 19-1, while the 2000 team won 21 straight before suffering a loss.