Last Week's Results: Defeated Davidson 10-3; Won series vs Pitt 9-5, 2-1, 4-6
Record Last Week: 3-1
Record This Season: 10-4
Upcoming Schedule: 3/11 vs George Mason, 3/12 vs Gardner-Webb; 3/14-3/16 at Maryland
The Tar Heels ran their winning streak to nine game before dropping the last game of the weekend series vs Pitt. Still UNC got the series win to open ACC play.
In the midweek game UNC used six different pitchers with Reilly Hovis pitching three innings and striking out five for the win as the Heels rolled past Davidson 10-3. The game was a 2-1 affair until the sixth inning when the Heels tacked on four to open things up. UNC added a run in the seventh and three more in the eighth. Freshman Wood Myers continues to hit the ball well from the leadoff spot going 2-4.
Rainy weather on Friday forced the postponement of the first game of the series against Pitt setting up a doubleheader on Saturday. The Tar Heels led the sweep of the two game set off with a six run first inning. After a bases loaded walk and HBP gave UNC a 2-0 lead, freshman Joe Dudek hit a grand slam to stake starter Trent Thornton at 6-0 lead. UNC would make it 8-0 before Thornton had a shaky fifth inning issuing four walks in the frame leading to four Panther runs[Note: Thornton struggled with a change in the plate umpire midway through the inning.] On the day Thornton went 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and four earned runs. Chris McCue pitched 1.1 innings for his fifth save of the season.
In the second game of the day Benton Moss recorded a career high 12 strikeouts and gave up one run in seven innings to lead UNC to a 2-1 win. Reilly Hovis, Zach Rice and Chris McCue combined to shut the door on Pitt with a one run lead. The save was McCue's sixth of the season and secured UNC's first series win on ACC play.
In Sunday's series finale, freshman Zac Gallen was roughed up a bit giving up four runs in 6.1 innings and leaving the game with UNC locked in a 4-4 tie with the Panthers. Spencer Trayner gave up two additional runs in relief which gave Pitt a 6-4 lead and ultimately the win. Korey Dunbar went 2-3 with a pair RBIs to pace UNC's offense in the loss.
At present, UNC is still being paced offensively by freshman bats but there were signs this week of Landon Lassiter and Skye Bolt starting to snap out of their season opening slump a bit. So far UNC has survived without getting much from the bats thought to be the core of the Tar Heel offense. That will need to change as the schedule eventually toughens up.
On the whole this was a shakier weekend than usual for Trent Thornton but survived thanks to great run support. Benton Moss was outstanding in the best outing of his career. Moss has pitched well the past two weekend overcoming a less than ideal start to the season. Chris McCue continues to be solid out of the bullpen recording his 5th and 6th saves. Zach Rice has also been impressive with 10 strikeouts in 15 batters faced.
UNC has two games during the week before making the last trip ever to Maryland.