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Series Recap: UCLA

The #17 Heels took on #11 UCLA in Orlando and lost the series 2-1. The Heels lost 8-5 on Friday, won 9-6 on Saturday and then got blown out 12-4 on Sunday.

Dave Weaver-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina and UCLA were originally supposed to play their three game series in Chapel Hill but the winter storm forced the two teams to move their games to Orlando, specifically to UCF's campus. The Heels may be regretting the decision to move after losing pretty soundly to the Bruins (outscored 26-15 over the course of the series). The Heels' pitching staff didn't pitch very well at all over the weekend, and the bullpen in particular was a weak point of the team. The Bruins scored 17 of their 26 runs in the 6th inning or later during the series. The Heels' offense continued to function at a relatively high level, recording at least 10 hits in each game. If the Heels continue to hit this way and average 5 runs a game against such quality opposition throughout the season, this team will be positioned well heading into the regionals at the end of the year.

Friday (L 8-5):

The Heels gave the ball to Benton Moss on Friday who only lasted 3.2 innings before being pulled due to a high pitch count (82 pitches thrown). Moss did throw seven strike outs in his time on the mound an impressive total considering he was only on the mound for 11 outs. After Moss left the mound with the game tied at 2, the bullpen allowed 4 runs over the next two full innings and the Heels never rallied. The highlights of the game for the Heels were the home runs by Skye Bolt and Tyler Ramirez. Bolt led off for the Heels this game and responded by getting two hits, including the aforementioned home run. Wood Myers also had two hits, the only other Carolina player to have more than one. The game was very sloppy, the two teams combined for 11 errors during the game. Carolina had 6 and UCLA had 5, with the Carolina errors costing the team two runs.

Saturday (W 9-6):

Carolina started slowly Saturday before scoring every inning from the fourth inning onward to beat UCLA for their only win of the weekend. Trent Thornton threw 5 scoreless innings before unraveling in the 6th, allowing 3 earned runs. That turned out to be enough, as the Heels only allowed three other runs to power them through to the win. Wood Myers and Logan Warmoth led the Heels on offense, recording three and two hits respectively. Warmoth has been particularly impressive so far considering he's only a Freshman. This game was also relatively sloppy as each team committed three errors.

Sunday (L 12-4):

Carolina played their worst game of the season on Sunday losing by 8. The Bruins went after Freshman J. B. Bukauskas in his second college start, getting 6 runs off 8 hits in the 4.2 innings he took to the mound. The Heels left 16 men on base this game and still recorded 11 hits so their run total is not wholly indicative of their offensive effort. Only Wood Meyers and Brian Miller had more than one hit for the Heels, they each had two. Tyler Ramirez recorded four walks on the day, and singled in his only other at bat to reach base all five times he walked up to the plate.

Up Next:

The Heels face a quick turn-around playing at home on Tuesday and Wednesday this week against St. John's and Winthrop. Rhode Island comes to Chapel Hill for the weekend series.