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Unbeaten Tar Heels pound Texas A&M in Astros Classic

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HOUSTON -- North Carolina is No. 1 in the nation and undefeated for a reason. The Tar Heels are extremely good. On Sunday they demolished Texas A&M, 14-2, at Minute Maid Park.

The Tar Heels (10-0) were the only one of six teams in the Astros Foundation College Classic to win every game.

"We came down here looking to play good teams, put our best three games together, and that's what we did," said Tar Heels right fielder Skye Bolt, who had two of the Tar Heels' 13 hits.

On Friday, North Carolina edged Rice, 2-1, and on Saturday the Tar Heels defeated California, 11-5.

"A lot of hype about all three of these teams we've been playing," Bolt said. "We wanted to come into this last game and make a final statement. That was pretty much our approach from the first pitch, and we happened to hop on them at the beginning.

"Our mentality in the dugout was stay on them, stay on them every inning. You put on two, three runs every inning and things will go your way."

Things began going North Carolina's way at the outset. Texas A&M starting pitcher Rafael Pineda (1-1) walked all four batters he faced. For the game, Aggies pitchers issued 11 walks. North Carolina had so many baserunners, that the top three in the lineup batted in each of the first five innings.

North Carolina led, 3-1, after one inning, and the Tar Heels added five runs in the second inning and four runs in the third inning. The game was called after 6 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.

Landon Lassiter reached base safely the first five innings -- two hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch -- scoring three runs. Colin Moran scored three runs, and Cody Stubbs, Michael Russell, Mike Zolk and Brian Holberton had two RBIs each. Chris Munnelly (1-0) pitched effectively for 2 2/3 innings of relief to earn the win.

"We want to keep working, we got a lot to prove with the ACC starting up," said North Carolina coach Mike Fox. "This was a good test. We played at home against a lot of Northern teams that hadn't been out much, so this was our first opportunity to play against really good competition. I wanted to see how our team would respond and I thought we did well."

Mikey Reynolds and Troy Stein had RBIs for Texas A&M (8-5), which had only three hits -- all singles.

Richard Dean is a contributor to

Houston Astros