The final weekend of the college baseball regular season is upon us with UNC hosting #1 ranked Virginia. Here is the schedule of games. As always, Tar Heel Blue is an excellent resource for information and listening to the games online.
Game 1: Thursday, 7:00 PM, Patrick Johnson 9-1, 3.07 ERA
Game 2: Friday, 7:00 PM, Kent Emanuel, 6-1, 2.94 ERA
Game 3: Saturday, 2:00 PM, Chris Munnelly, 5-4, 4.08 ERA
UNC will need to get better outings from Emanuel and Munnelly than they got last weekend. Virginia comes in with an outstanding pitching staff. ESPN.com's Eric Sorenson notes that UNC's best chance will be to work the Cavalier pitchers into deep counts.
Key matchup: Carolina working counts vs. Virginia's pinpoint pitching. The Tar Heels' only chance will be if they can work some deep counts from a staff that normally doesn't go into deep counts. The Heels are second in the ACC with 284 walks on the season. As you know, Virginia gives away free passes about as often as Ebenezer Scrooge gave away charity, just 114 in 51 games. If UNC can make the Wahoos labor a little more than usual, it's bully for them.
UVa has not lost a series all season and is locked into a national seed, probably #1 overall. How much the Cavalier coaching staff chooses to press the issue knowing they need to get ready for the NCAA Tournament is an interesting question. UNC on the other hand could use a series win here to see if they can steal a national seed. The debacle of last weekend really hurt the Heels' chances for home field through to the College World Series.Winning two of three from UVa and a solid showing in the ACC Tournament might turn that around given UNC has a really high RPI a #3.