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UNC Baseball Hits Home Stretch

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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Tar Heels enter the final two weekends of the regular season with a series at Notre Dame beginning on Friday, a midweek home game versus UNCW on Tuesday followed by a home stand against Virginia next weekend. The final seven games could prove crucial to whether UNC can work its way up to being a regional host in the NCAA Tournament.

According to the latest Baseball America NCAA Tournament projection, UNC is slated to be the #2 seed in Jupiter, FL where Florida Atlantic would be the host. Southeastern Louisiana and Mercer are also projected there. If this ends up being the match-up, it could be a rematch of the 2013 regional in Chapel Hill where Florida Atlantic beat UNC 3-2 to force a decisive game. In that contest, UNC blew a 6-2 lead in the 9th to fall behind 8-6. The Tar Heels scored twice in the bottom of the 9th to force extra innings. In the 12th, FAU again staked a lead in the top of the inning but the Tar Heels countered to again tie the game. UNC won on a Cody Stubbs single to left field in the bottom of the 13th. Obviously FAU would like nothing better than to get UNC on its home field and exact some revenge for the 2013 loss.

According to Warren Nolan, UNC's RPI is 17th with a SOS of 11th. That puts UNC very close to being good enough to host a regional but UNC has plenty of work to do for that to happen. It starts this weekend at Notre Dame with the Irish ranked 48th according to Warren Nolan. A series win or even a sweep would be ideal in bolstering UNC's RPI. The Tar Heels will host UNCW on Tuesday with the Seahawks projected as a regional #2 seed also and presently sitting at 30th in the Warren Nolan RPI.

For UNC the formula is simple: Just win. UNC is 13-3 since dropping a series at Clemson in early April. Keeping that pace going through the regular season's final seven games will be crucial to positioning the Tar Heels for a regional host bid.