RALEIGH- UNC baseball didn’t have much trouble taking down N.C. State 7-1 last night in the first of a three-game series against the Wolfpack in Raleigh.

Junior Tar Heel pitcher Kent Emanuel pitched through the eighth inning and tied a career high nine strikeouts. Colin Moran and Brian Holberton both tallied home runs for UNC.

“He got better as he went,” says Head Tar Heel Coach Mike Fox. “It’s tough to start a game. You don’t know where the strike zone is, and you’re really having to pitch.”

The Heels took control right, putting three runs on the board in the first inning alone—and Fox says that early lead was important in setting the tone for the rest of the game, especially in the hostile environment away from home.

“It quieted the crowd and they never really got into the game,” he says.

UNC now moves to 41-3 overall and 19-2 in the ACC, while N.C. State is at 33-11 overall and 14-8 in conference play. Game two of the series gets underway Saturday night at 6:30, and the series concludes Sunday night at 7:00.