UNC has announced the pitching schedule for UNC's three pool games in the ACC Tournament.
Tar Heel Blue has full notes and stats for the three games. On Thursday, the Heels will go with Greg Holt versus Miami. This will be Holt's first start of the season and only the third of his career. This season Holt is 7-1 with 2.90 ERA having picked up several wins in long/middle relief. UNC will then use Patrick Johnson in the second game against Wake Forest and Kent Emanuel for the pool play finale against Virginia.
When the Heels bat they will face a trio of left handed pitchers. Miami will send out Bryan Radziewski(9-2, 2.94 ERA) for the tournament opener. UNC faced Radziewski in Chapel Hill scoring four runs off him on nine hits in seven innings. UNC ultimately lost that game in the 10th inning resulting in a no-decision for Radziewski. In the second game versus Wake Forest, the Heels will see Tim Cooney(7-2, 2.53 ERA.) Cooney got the win versus UNC back on March 12th pitching 7.2 innings giving up only two runs on eight hits. Wake Forest won that game 10-2. On Saturday the Heels will see UVa starter and ACC Pitcher of the Year Daniel Hultzen(9-3, 1.49 ERA) UNC got the best of Hultzen last Friday in a 2-1 win to clinch the series. However Hultzen was still very good giving up only the two runs on four hits while striking out 10 Heels. Getting a second win over Hultzen in as many weeks is going to be a tall order.
Assuming UNC makes the title game(something that has only happened once since 1990) then I assume Mike Fox would use Chris Munnelly and whoever else might still be able to lift their arms. In many ways the Roy Williams View of the ACC Tournament is even more relevant to baseball than basketball. Wearing out your pitching staff right before the NCAA Tournament is not the best plan in the world. On the flip side Fox knows UNC probably needs a 2-1 mark in pool play to snatch one of those national seeds. Having Munnelly available for Sunday gives the Heels a chance to win the title if they get there.
The ACC Tournament opens on Wednesday at the Durham Bull Athletic Park. UNC will play at 11 AM on Thursday versus Miami.