Chapel Hill Regional Preview

Tale of the tape for the four teams in North Carolina's regional.

Schedule

Friday, May 31st

Game 1: #2 Florida Atlantic vs #3 Towson, 1 PM
Game 2: #1 UNC vs #4 Canisius, 6 PM

Saturday, June 1st

Game 3: Game 1 loser vs Game 2 loser, 1 PM
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner, 6 PM

Sunday, June 2nd

Game 5: Game 3 winner vs Game 4 loser
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs Game 5 winner

Monday, June 3rd

Game 7: Game 4 winner vs Game 5 winner(if necessary), 6 PM

The Teams

Teams #1 North Carolina #2 Fla Atlantic #3 Towson #4 Canisius
Location Chapel Hill, NC Boca Raton, FL Towson, MD Buffalo, NY
Mascot Tar Heels Owls Tigers Golden Griffins
Conference ACC Sun Belt CAA MAAC
Record 52-8 39-20 29-28 42-15
RPI #1 #27 N/A N/A
BA Top 25 #5 #23 #90 #94
NCAA Bid Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Team Avg .305 .289 .294 .307
Opp Avg .208 .255 .309 .247
Team HRs 46 38 52 27
Opp HRs 18 38 44 19
Team RPG 8.1 5.6 7.1 7.1
Opp RPG 3.0 4.9 6.1 4.5
Team ERA 2.52 3.60 5.13 4.04
Opp ERA 7.05 4.80 6.22 6.17

UNC has released it's rotation for the first three games with the regular Saturday starter, Benton Moss going on Friday versus Canisius. Kent Emanuel will follow on Saturday against either Florida Atlantic or Towson with Hobbs Johnson set for what is hopefully the regional winning game on Sunday.

One concern for UNC is how they come off last weekend and the 49 innings in four days. In theory it shouldn't be an issue since the only pitcher that really did more than he normally does was Trent Thornton. The freshman went 6.2 innings against NC State but it was his only work of the weekend. It was also not the first time in the season he's done that having pitched a similar stint against Clemson earlier in the year.

The other question is if the bats will wake up. UNC had all sorts of trouble getting production from the middle of the lineup in Durham. Some of that was Carlos Radon but Colin Moran and Skye Bolt had their struggles getting hits with runners in scoring position both in the ACC Tournament and even before that.Getting those two back on track will be critical for NCAA Tournament success.

Probably the best sign for UNC is the bounce back from the UVa series which saw the Heels lose two of three. North Carolina knocked off FSU then one four straight in the ACC Tournament. Four of the five wins required some top-notch pitching performances that illustrated the quality depth of the pitching staff. If the offense can step up, this team will be very tough to beat. At this point the level of confidence for the team couldn't possibly be higher.

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