Monday Baseball Report (4/7)

Rob Carr

Last Week's Results: Defeated UNCW 9-4, Won series vs. Boston College 7-0, 9-10, 12-2
Record Last Week: 3-1
Record This Season: 18-13 overall, 7-8 in the ACC
Schedule This Week: 4/8 vs. North Carolina A&T, 4/9 vs. Coastal Carolina, 4/11-13 vs. Wake Forest

Carolina snapped a six-game losing streak with a 9-4 mid-week win over UNC-Wilmington. Freshman pitcher Zac Gallen made up for a disastrous outing against Duke just two days earlier by overcoming a shaky start and settling in, combining with winning pitcher Reilly Hovis to shut down the Seahawks. Skye Bolt had a superior day at the plate, going 3-4 and smashing his first home run of the season, while DH Tom Zengel knocked in three runs.

The Tar Heels then made the trip to Chestnut Hill to take on last-place Boston College and opened the series with a 7-0 rout. UNC's ace Trent Thornton threw a 3-hit, complete game shutout. Zengel topped his 3 RBI effort from Tuesday with 5 runs batted in on Friday. Thornton ran his record to 6-1 on the season and an amazing 18-2 over his UNC career.

On Saturday, the UNC team that struggled to a 3-7 record over its previous 10 games showed up. Carolina had a 8-3 lead in the 6th inning but ended up dropping a 10-9 decision. The Carolina bullpen imploded in the 7th and 8th innings as the Eagles scored six runs on only three hits. The Tar Heels surrendered seven walks and three wild pitches over those two frames. It wasn't much better on offense as UNC had a lead-off double in the 8th but Bolt was picked off 3rd to end the inning. BC got a lead-off walk in the 9th against Henry Sisson, who then struck out the next two batters before Blake Butera stroked an 0-2 pitch into center field for the game-winner, giving BC only its second ACC win of the year.

UNC rebounded with a 12-2 shellacking of the Eagles in the rubber game, cranking out 16 hits on the day. Landon Lassiter and Parks Jordan both had 3 RBIs and Carolina pushed across seven runs in the 6th inning to blow open a tie game. Gallen picked up the win and combined with Hovis to scatter six BC hits through the game.

The good news is that the Tar Heels offense picked up steam, even if it was against two teams with losing records. Carolina banged out 51 hits in the four games and scored 37 runs. The defensive and pitching lapses are still troublesome as UNC starts getting into the meat of the ACC schedule and, in this particular week, five games in six days. After a pair of home appetizers, the Heels host Wake Forest in a key weekend series. UNC is going to need to win a couple of series against teams with winning conference records, like the Deacons, to improve on the chances of making the ACC Tournament.

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