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Monday Baseball Report(4/9)

Last Week’s Results: Defeated Elon; Swept at Miami
Record Last Week: 1-3
Overall Record: 23-9
ACC Record: 9-6, 2nd place in Coastal Divsion
Upcoming Schedule: 4/11 vs UNC Asheville, 4/13-4/15 at Virginia

That didn't go well.

The week started well enough with the Heels drawing 12 walks on the way to a rain shortened 7-inning win over Elon 11-3 on Wednesday. Tommy Coyle and Shell McCain each at three RBIs to pace the offense while R.C. Orlan got his fifth win of the season for pitching part of the third and all of the fourth inning. Yes, Mike Fox is in midseason form with the pitching changes.

UNC then traveled to Miami and promptly were swept by the Hurricanes. The Heels were shutout in the first and third games of the series while losing the second game on a walk-off home run in the 14th inning in a game that was delayed over an hour by weather. On Friday, the Heels managed on six hits and did not draw a single walk while being shutout 8-0. Kent Emanuel gave of four runs in six innings of work and left the game with UNC trailing 4-0. The bullpen gave up four additional runs for the final tally.

The Saturday game went better with UNC jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first which held until the sixth and seventh where the Hurricanes strung together three runs to take the lead back. In the top of the ninth, UNC was down to its last out when Jacob Stallings scored from third on a passed ball. The passed ball capped off a really bad inning for Miami catcher Corey Janson who also dropped a popup in the infield that would have retired Stallings to start the inning. Stallings eventually reached on a single then scored the tying run. Michael Morin, who entered the game in the seventh ended up pitching seven innings(!) and took the loss after giving up the game winning home run to Esteban Tresgallo.

As it stands, the sweep is problematic but not wholly unmanageable in terms of NCAA Tournament seeding. The Heels still have a very good RPI(#3 overall) which helped them tremendously last season  UNC lost four ACC series a year ago including a 1-5 stretch in April where the Heels were swept by NCSU and lost two of three vs Miami. Using 2011 as a guide, the Heels are not in huge trouble providing they put it together over the next two weekends. In baseball things can be less cut and dry than they are in other sports. Obviously having Colin Moran healthy would help an offense that only scored three runs over the weekend, all of them in one game. Not having your leading hitter and RBI man matters but given Moran is not back for a few weeks to come, UNC needs to find other ways to muster offense. UNC has now lost three straight Friday openers with Kent Emanuel pitching in all of those. Getting out of the gate with a win behind your ace could go a long way towards correcting the current course.