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Tuesday Baseball Report(2/18)


Last week's results: Lost series to College of Charleston: 4-7, 12-3, 1-3
Record Last Week: 1-2
Record This Season: 1-2
Upcoming schedule: 2/21-2/23 vs Xavier

The 2014 baseball season got off to a bit of a rocky start and that was before the first pitch was even thrown. The winter weather that impacted the Chapel Hill area and forced the postponement of UNC-Duke basketball also meant the Heels could not open the 2014 season at Boshamer Stadium. There were concerns that the field could not be made ready in time so the series with College of Charleston was moved to Charleston for the weekend.

In the first game, UNC got rolling early posting a 4-0 lead and Benton Moss sitting down the first 12 batters he faced. After stranding three Cougars in the fifth, Moss struggled in Charleston's five run sixth helped in part by a Joe Dudek error. After giving up a pair of runs, Moss gave way to Reilly Hovis who then surrendered a three run homer to give the Cougars the lead for good. Charleston would tack on a pair of runs in the seventh for the final 7-4 margin.

On Sunday UNC found some offense and got a career day from Trent Thornton on the way to a 12-3 win. The sophomore ace recorded a career high 10 strikeouts in six innings while giving up three runs, two of them earned. Trevor Kelly and Chris McCue combined to give up just one hit over the final three innings. Meanwhile, SS Michael Russell had a big day at the plate going 4-5 with four RBIs and a home run. Sophomore Zach Daly also went yard with a three run pitch hit homer in UNC's seven run ninth.

The rubber game of the series saw UNC fail to cash in on multiple chances ultimately losing the game and series 3-1. This game ended up being a rough outing for Parks Jordan. The senior was thrown out at home in the fourth and into a pair of bases loaded double plays twice. The first, coming with UNC down 2-1 in the sixth, was more the fault of Michael Russell than Jordan who's line drive to right field got hung up in the wind. Russell, who was at first, got caught between bases and was subsequently doubled off. In the 8th, Jordan again came up with the bases loaded and this time grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Despite taking the loss, freshman Zac Gallen pitched well going 6.2 inning giving up seven hits and two earned runs.

Despite the loss there are some positives. UNC got solid outings from two of the three pitchers in the weekend rotation and Moss should ultimately be fine. Russell had a big series and UNC got contributions for multiple freshman, four of which started all three games. The biggest issue was the offense not producing that key hit in the series finale despite Gallen holding the Cougars in check.