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Diamond Heels Off To Fast Start

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UNC's baseball team is off to one of the best 30 game starts in the past 20 years. The sixth ranked Heels moved to 26-4 on the season with a three game sweep of traditional ACC baseball power Clemson in Chapel Hill. UNC is now 10-2 in the ACC.

Compared to the previous four seasons which ended in appearances at the College World Series, last year was considered a down/rebuilding year. UNC barely made the NCAA Tournament and bowed out in regional play. This season the Heels appear to be back on track getting strong pitching from Patrick Johnson and Kent Emanuel. Johnson is 6-0 with a 2.78 ERA and 44 strikeouts on 45 IP. Emanuel is 4-1 with a 1.94 ERA, 42 Ks in 42.1 IP. Overall the pitching has been decent but solid in most games.

On the offensive side, Jesse Wierzbicki and Colin Moran have each hit five home runs and are batting over .360. Moran has 42 RBIs to lead the team. UNC is 30th in the NCAA in team batting average at .310 and 19th in home runs with 23. The show of power is a tad surprising according to Adam Lucas during the radio broadcast on Friday night. With the change in the aluminum bats which was supposed to make them behave more like wooden bats, it was expected UNC would be more of a small ball team. That has not been the case though UNC is more than willing to steal bases(38 in 48 attempts) in an effort to get some run production.

UNC faces a tough road over the next right games. Following a midweek contest with Winthrop this week, UNC travels to Tallahassee to face Atlantic Division leading Florida St. then ECU followed by a trip to Raleigh to face NC State. That is six of the next eight away from Chapel Hill and crucial stretch in the season. After that UNC will play ten of the final fifteen games of the season at Boshamer Stadium with the only real test on the road during that span coming at Georgia Tech in mid-May.