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Monday Baseball Report(2/20)

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Last Week's Results: Split a Friday doubleheader with Xavier 10-2, 4-10 and won the series finale 16-10 on Saturday
Record Last Week: 2-1
Overall Record: 2-1
Upcoming Schedule: Three game series vs Wright State 2/24-2/26 at Boshamer Stadium.

UNC opened the 2012 taking two out of three from Xavier in Chapel Hill over the weekend that saw the Heels score 30 runs but give up 22.

The Diamond Heels opened play with a Friday doubleheader winning the first game 10-2 behind six strong innings from staff ace Kent Emanuel who gave up seven hits and two earned runs en route to his first win of the season. UNC had a balanced offensive attack with three Heels registering two RBIs. In the nightcap UNC fell 10-4 after surrendering five runs in the final two innings. Freshman pitcher Chris O'Brien struggled in his first collegiate start giving up four earned runs in 4.1 innings. That led to multiple pitching changes over the course of the game with nine pitchers in all used. The Heels' offense was held in check collecting only six hits.

In the rubber game of the series on Saturday, the Heels jumped out to a 6-0 first inning lead only to see Xavier score eight runs in the top of the second. Freshman Benton Moss was absolutely rocked giving up five runs, four of them earned in one inning of work. The Heels' defense was also suspect committing three errors that led to four unearned runs in the Musketeers' eight run second. Fortunately for UNC, the offense went big as well led my 2B Mike Zolk who had four RBIs. Colin Moran, Cody Stubbs, Michael Russell and Tom Zengel had two RBIs each. R.C. Orlan pitched three scoreless innings in relief and Michael Morin closed the game out in a 2.2 inning outing giving up only one hit.

Overall, Mike Fox seemed to be feeling his team out a little in this series. Fox went with two freshman starters, both of whom struggled and as usual made extensive use of the bullpen. On the offensive side, the Heels got contributions from multiple players and put up 30 runs in three games without the benefit of a home run. After three games Zolk and C Jacob Stallings lead the team with five RBIs. Zengel, Stubbs and Russell have four each and 2011 RBI leader Moran had three. UNC is not a power team and in all likelihood will not produce a lot of home runs. The strength of the Heels' offense in the opening series was 13 double, 3 triples and 19 walks. In short, UNC gets runners on and looks for timely hits.

UNC hosts Wright State next weekend and it will be interesting to see if Fox further experiments with the rotation as a mean of evaluating the personnel.