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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC rallies to win mid-week tilt in extras

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.

“He has a great arm,” Fox said. “We wanted him to give us four or five innings and keep us in the game and he did just that.”

Penny had appeared in 38 games during his three-year career with the Tar Heels but was given the opportunity to start against the Chanticleers and made the most of it.

“Even though I am a junior, it is new territory for me to be out there in the first inning and so hopefully they will give me another shot,” Penny said.

The Tar Heels answered in the bottom of the second when junior Frank hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Stubbs.

After Coastal Carolina took the lead right back in the third on a fielding error by right fielder Michael Russell, UNC answered in the bottom of the third when junior Tommy Coyle scored on a throwing error by the Chanticleers.

Coastal Carolina responded in the fifth after designated hitter Alex Buccilli took advantage of a UNC error with a single that gave the Chanticleers a 3-2 lead.

But for the third straight time, the Tar Heels responded. In the bottom of the fifth, Coyle drew a leadoff walk, one of his four walks in the game, and senior Jacob Stallings followed with a single to left.

After a passed ball advanced the runners to second and third, freshman Mike Zolk bounced a single past the diving shortstop to score Coyle. Stubbs followed Zolk with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Stallings to give UNC a 4-3 lead.

The Tar Heels will next host a three-game series against Wake Forest starting Friday.

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