CHAPEL HILL, N.C., – North Carolina broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fourth inning and claimed a 6-1 victory over James Madison in a non-conference game that was reduced to six innings by inclement weather on Wednesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.
UNC, ranked No. 1 in three of the five major national polls, improved the nation’s best record to 44-4. JMU fell to 20-25. The game was delayed for nearly an hour beginning at 7:53 p.m. with two outs in the bottom of the sixth before finally being called.
Chris Munnelly claimed the victory for UNC after allowing one run on two hits in five innings with six strikeouts. Freshman Michael Church (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) took the loss for James Madison after surrendering four runs on six hits in four innings.
Three players accounted for seven of UNC’s eight hits with shortstop Michael Russell going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Designated hitter Landon Lassiter was 2-for-4 with an RBI while center fielder Chaz Frank was 2-for-3 with a walk. Left fielder Jordan Parks hit a two-run double.
JMU had two hits in the game with senior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) driving in the only run with a single. Senior right fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) singled, walked and scored a run.
UNC scored first as Frank led off with a double in the first and Lassiter plated him one batter later with a single. The Dukes tied it up in the third as McInturff led off with a walk, was bunted to second and scored on Roberts’ single up the middle.
The Tar Heels broke the tie in the fourth when a leadoff walk and a single by Russell resulted in two runners in scoring position after a sacrifice bunt. Jordan’s two-run double made it 3-1 and two wild pitches allowed Jordan to score to make it 4-1.
North Carolina added its final runs in the fifth on Russell’s two-run single.
JMU returns to Colonial Athletic Association competition for the first time in three weeks with a critical home series against Towson this weekend. The Tigers currently sit in fourth place among tournament-eligible teams at 11-10 with the Dukes in sixth at 8-12 but just a half game up on Hofstra at 8-13. The top six teams qualify for the tournament.