After getting a big series win in Tallahassee versus Florida St., the Heels have struggled against ACC competition losing two straight series and five of their last six league games. The latest missteps came against Miami over the weekend where UNC dropped both games of a Saturday doubleheader before salvaging the final game on Sunday.
The first game was rained out on Friday night forcing the Saturday doubleheader. Harrison Barnes threw out the first pitch(a strike according to John Henson on Twitter albeit a tad slow.) UNC and Miami went nip and tuck with the Heels tying the game up in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI double from Levi Michael with one out. Michael, who represented the winning run, would advance to third on Colin Moran's groundout and be stranded there. In the top of the tenth, the wheels came off for UNC with Miami posting eight runs.
In the second game UNC got decent pitching but gave up five runs while the offense struggled to get timely hits. The Heels left ten runners on base in a 5-3 loss which clinched the series for Miami.
On Sunday, Kent Emanuel pitched a complete game giving up one earned run and walking only one as UNC won 8-1. The bats woke up(finally) and UNC avoided a second straight sweep in ACC play.
UNC now gets next weekend off with only a game at ECU on Wednesday of this week, and a home contest versus Gardner Webb on the schedule before hosting Maryland on May 6-8. The rest will be important since Mike Fox has a penchant for changing pitchers like Academy Award hosts change wardrobe. The Maryland series is one UNC should sweep considering Maryland is 4-17 in the ACC(the peculiar nature of baseball not withstanding.) The Heels recent troubles have dropped them to fourth in the Coastal Division at 13-8 in the ACC and 32-10 overall. With the final two weekends of the regular season coming against Coastal leader Georgia Tech in Atlanta and #1 Virginia at home, there are no games to waster in positioning for NCAA Tournament seeding.