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Heels Smack JMU; One Win From Super Regional

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As I noted in the preview, James Madison came in with one of the best offenses in the country leading in several categories and appearing in the top five in a few others. That offense was on display Friday when the Dukes scored 11 runs on Florida International to reach the winners bracket game. That probably makes this line from Patrick Johnson even more impressive

8 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 11 K

Johnson owned James Madison all game long striking out 11 of the 28 batters he faced while giving up just three hits and one walk. In fact JMU saw exactly two baserunners in scoring position all day with no Dukes getting past second. Heck at one point Johnson retired the side on six pitches. Johnson now has a 23 inning scoreless streak going back to May 13th in Atlanta.

On the offensive side, the Heels scored a few runs early and led 4-0 heading into the seventh inning. UNC would stay at bat for over 30 minutes scoring seven runs and leaving the bases loaded to open up an 11-0 lead. The Heels tacked on three more runs in the ninth(UNC was the "visiting" team in this game) for the final 14-0 margin. Greg Holt had a big day going 4-5 with a home run and four RBIs. Ben Bunting also had three RBIs.

Next up UNC faces the winner of tomorrow's 1:00 PM elimination game between JMU and Maine. Chris Munnelly(6-5, 3.99 ERA) will try and pitch the Heels into the Super Regional next weekend. Munnelly is the normal third weekend starter though given how little the bullpen has been used thus far, it is possible we see some more actions from there if there is much sign of trouble. The advantage for UNC here is the fact both Maine and JMU will press their pitching staffs to stay alive whereas the Heels have virtually cruised thus far. All that is left now is for the Heels to take care of business and get ready the Super Regional.

One quick note: Mike Fox missed today's game leaving Scott Forbes to once again manage the team. No word on when Fox is expected to return.