With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and No. 5 North Carolina trailing by two runs, the Tar Heels were staring at a loss to Coastal Carolina right in the face.
But junior Cody Stubbs had other ideas. Wasting no time, Stubbs took the first pitch he saw and sent it on a direct line over the right-field fence to tie the game 6-6.
Stubbs admitted that assistant coach Scott Jackson told him to sit on a breaking ball.
“He told me ‘He is going to throw you a breaking ball so hit it out,’” Stubbs said. “And luckily I put a good swing on it.”
After a strikeout ended the inning, the Tar Heels geared up for extra innings. UNC built on its momentum when junior Michael Morin struck out the side in the top of the 10th inning.
After sophomore Brian Holberton reached base on a double and junior Chaz Frank hustled down the line to earn an infield single, it was up to freshman Grayson Atwood.
Like Stubbs in the ninth, Atwood went after the first pitch he saw and lined a single to center to score Holberton and give the Tar Heels the 7-6 victory.
“I think they were all pulling for him right there, and it was great to see him come through,” coach Mike Fox said. “I am very happy for him.”
The Chanticleers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning after two wild pitches by UNC starter Cody Penny. Penny, a junior, was making his first-ever career start for the Tar Heels.
Penny lasted 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs, with only two earned.