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March 26, 2012Chapel Hill - Tommy Coyle and Jacob Stallings both connected on home runs and the bullpen allowed just one earned run over 6.2 innings of work as No. 5 North Carolina took the series finale over NC State, 7-4, Monday night. The Tar Heels improve to 19-5 on the year and 7-2 in ACC play, while the Wolfpack fall to 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the ACC.
Coyle and Stallings contributed all seven runs for the Tar Heels as Tommy Coyle blasted his first career grand slam in the second inning and Stallings added a RBI ground out and a two-run home run of his own in the seventh.
Junior left-hander R.C. Orlan picked up the win as he improved to 4-0 by tossing 3.2 innings of one-run ball. Orlan struck out three after entering for starter Benton Moss in the third inning.
NC State notched a run in the first inning when speedster Trea Turner singled and stole second before scoring on a sacrifice fly later in the inning by Chris Diaz.
Carolina answered in the bottom half with a run of their own when Chaz Frank opened the frame by getting hit by a pitch. An error put runners on the corners and Jacob Stallings hit a chopper to the shortstop that was bobbled and thrown wide of first base to tie the game at 1-1.
The Tar Heels put the lead off man on base in the second inning as well when Tom Zengel singled and moved to third on a Shell McCain walk and a sacrifice bunt by Parks Jordan. Another plunking of Frank loaded the bases for Michael Russell. The freshman outfielder went down looking for the second out of the inning.
Tommy Coyle then stepped in and turned on a 2-1 offering from NC State starter Logan Jernigan and sent the pitch over the right field fence to clear the bases and give Carolina a 5-1 lead.
The grand slam was the first of Coyle's career and first since Greg Holt cleared the bases with a grand slam at UNC Wilmington in 2011.
The Wolfpack started to chip away at the Tar Heel lead as they notched single runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings to close the gap to just one run at 5-4.
The first two Tar Heels went down via the strikeout in the bottom of the seventh before Tommy Coyle started a two-out rally with a single through the right side. Jacob Stallings then stepped in and worked a 2-2 count and turned on a change up from reliever Anthony Tzamtzis and sent it into the night over the left field fence to provide UNC with a 7-4 edge.
Senior Michael Morin came in for Chris McCue in the top of the seventh and notched the final out of the inning before getting into trouble in the top of the eighth.
Morin issued a walk and hit a batter to put two runners on but buckled down and forced a fly out to left, a strike out swinging and handled a comebacker to close out the inning.
Morin then worked a perfect ninth to record his eighth save of the year, the second most in the ACC.
Orlan earned the win for the Tar Heels as the southpaw improved to 4-0 on the season and capped off a tremendous weekend for the bullpen. The Tar Heel bullpen threw 16 innings in the series win and allowed just seven hits, two runs, one earned run and struck out 15 batters.
The Tar Heels will take Tuesday off before continuing a nine-game homestand Wednesday against Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.