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Monday Baseball Report(3/18)

At least one UNC team beat Miami over the weekend.

Last week's results: def. Gardner-Webb 12-0, High Point 7-2, won series vs Miami 1-4, 14-2, 4-1
Record Last Week: 4-1
Record This Season: 18-1
Upcoming Schedule: 3/19 vs Princeton, 3/22-3/24 at Boston College

UNC had a fairly easy midweek dispatching Gardner-Webb by roughly the fifth inning of that game to win 12-0. The next day the Heels knocked off High Point 7-2 scoring all its runs in the first four innings. That ran UNC's season opening win streak to 16 games with Miami coming to town.

If you haven't followed UNC's baseball much, Miami has been the proverbial burr under the saddle. UNC went into the series having lost seven of the last eight games to the Hurricanes. The Heels lost two of three in 2011 then faced the Canes in the 2011 ACC Tournament and lost. In 2012, Miami swept UNC in Coral Gables and again beat them at the conference tournament. In eight games over two years UNC was 1-7 versus Miami.

After Friday night it was 1-8 as the Hurricanes touched Kent Emanuel for three runs in the fifth all of them earned and held on for a 4-1 win. Emaunel just wasn't sharp giving up eight hits and four earned runs in 6.1 IP. He also walked three and the UNC defense committed two errors. Given how well UNC's offense has played, four runs wasn't a huge mountain to climb but the bats never got going with the Heels only mustering seven hits.

Saturday night was a different story with the Tar Heel taking out some pent up frustration against Miami all in the one inning. The Tar Heels scored 11 runs in the third in the manner UNC is known for scoring runs with a variety of singles, doubles, walks and even an RBI on a hit by pitch. One Miami reliever, Alexander Fernandez, gave up five runs without retiring a batter. That means Fernandez's ERA for this outing technically cannot be calculated since you cannot divide by zero. In other words, his ERA was infinity. Mike Zolk and Brian Holberton had three RBIs each in the rout and Colin Moran was 3-4 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Benton Moss gave up two hits and struck out nine in seven innings of work.

On Sunday, with the basketball team playing a hard fought ACC title game and losing, the baseball team clinched the series versus Miami with a 4-1 win. Hobbs Johnson with perhaps his best outing of the season struck out seven in five innings pitched and gave up Miami's only run of the day. Travel Kelley and Chris McCue closed out the game with McCue getting the win. The game was tied 1-1 in the 8th when freshman Skye Bolt hit a two out, three run home run to put the Heels ahead for good.

Despite taking the first loss of the season, UNC bounced back to win the series versus the Hurricanes and in some ways exorcise the Miami demons. Bolt and Moran continue to be an incredible combination in the heart of the Tar Heel order. Bolt is batting .418 with four home runs and 20 RBIs. Moran is at .375 with four home runs and 25 RBIs to lead the team. Cody Stubbs likewise is getting timely hits with 24 RBIs and also leads the team with nine stolen basis.

At this stage this team is absolutely as advertised and getting some big games from Bolt and fellow freshman Landon Lassiter to go along with the veteran talent Mike Fox as assembled.