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Tar Heels ride big fourth to win in Astros Classic

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HOUSTON -- Landon Lassiter is in the North Carolina lineup primarily because he can hit. A day after making two errors, the Tar Heels shortstop had an error-free game with four hits.

Lassiter wasn't the only North Carolina player hitting on Saturday. The Tar Heels used an eight-run fourth inning to hammer California, 11-5, in the Astros Foundation College Classic at Minute Maid Park.

North Carolina coach Mike Fox didn't even think about benching Lassiter on Saturday. Fox wanted Lassiter to get back on the field quickly and produce.

"It's really important to do that when you're young," said Fox. "His confidence was shaken a bit. He's a good offensive player, and we have to have him in there. He showed that today."

Lassiter hit to all fields on Saturday, with a triple in the eight-run fourth. Colin Moran added two hits for the Tar Heels, who accumulated 13 total. Moran, Michael Russell and Korey Dunbar had two RBIs each for top-ranked North Carolina (9-0).

Starting pitcher Benton Moss (3-0) got the win as the Tar Hills built an 11-1 lead over the first five innings. The right-hander struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings.

Devon Rodriguez had three of the eight hits for California (4-6), which scored four runs in the sixth inning. California starter Jake Schulz (0-1) took the loss.

North Carolina edged Rice, 2-1, on Friday in the first day of the three-day Classic and will play Texas A&M on Sunday.

"This is a good test for us to come here and play hard and see how we stack up against the good teams in Texas," said Lassiter, who scored twice on Saturday.

Richard Dean is a contributor to