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UNC Baseball Recaps - Week 4

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Checking in with the Diamond Heels

College World Series - Coastal Carolina v Arizona - Game Two Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Tournament time has taken over, but here is a brief update on UNC baseball.

The Diamond Heels are currently ranked #11, dropping a few spots after a losing streak to start the month of March. Here are the results since the last update:

Date

Opponent

Result

Record

2-25-17

vs. Radford

W 9-3

6-0

2-26-17

vs. Radford

W 7-5

7-0

2-28-17

vs. Winthrop

W 11-0

8-0

3-1-17

vs. St. John's

L 4-5

8-1

3-3-17

vs. Long Beach St.

L 2-5

8-2

3-4-17

vs. Long Beach St.

L 1-4

8-3

3-5-17

vs. Long Beach St.

W 8-5

9-3

3-7-17

vs. VCU

W 8-2

10-3

3-10-17

vs. Virginia

W 9-4

11-3

3-11-17

vs. Virginia

L 1-2

11-4

3-11-17

vs. Virginia

W 12-2

12-4

3-14-17

vs. Maryland

W 9-2

13-4

3-17-17

at Georgia Tech

W 6-5

14-4

After an unblemished February, the Tar Heels climbed in the rankings up to #7. Against St. John’s, the Heels were up 4-2 heading into the later innings when the Red Storm scored two in the seventh and one in the eight to capture the lead and eventually the one-run win.

In a three-game series against Long Beach State, UNC dropped the first two games by three runs each before capturing a Sunday win by three runs. The first game of the series was notable because the game was tied 2-2 heading into the ninth. Three runs in the top of the ninth by Long Beach State pushed them to victory.

UNC rebounded against VCU. Tyler Baum, the freshman right hander, pitched five scoreless innings. Based on the boxscore, with only one strikeout, the Tar Heel defense came up strong in those five scoreless innings. Perhaps Baum followed the advice of Crash Davis and spread the ball around.

The Tar Heels faced a tough test to start conference play against then-ranked #7 Virginia. Ace righty J.B. Bukauskas struck out seven and allowed one run in six innings of work to get his second win on the season. First baseman Zack Gahagan hit a three-run home run, his second tater on the season, to push the Tar Heels ahead in the third. A five-run fifth inning would put the Heels ahead for good to secure the victory.

The next day, the Heels and Hoos played a doubleheader. The first game was a pitcher’s duel, with each team’s pitcher throwing through the eighth. Virginia scored a run in the top of the ninth to claw out a one-run win. In the deciding game of the series, the Heels scored eight runs in the third to put the game away early.

In the last game of UNC’s extended home stand, the Tar Heels took care of former conference opponent Maryland thanks to a good start from the UNC offense. Four runs in the first two innings would be enough to take care of the Terrapins.

Going into the series with Georgia Tech, shortstop Logan Warmoth is leading the Tar Heels with a .375 batting average and 19 runs scored. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with Zack Gahagan. Third basemen Kyle Datres leads UNC with 15 RBI and Brian Miller leads the Heels with eight extra-base hits.

Starting pitcher J.B. Bukauskas leads the entire pitching staff with an impressive 0.69 ERA, allowing just two earned runs and three runs total in 26 innings pitched this season. Of the five pitchers who have started games this season, four have ERAs under three. Reliever Austin Bergner and closer Josh Hiatt lead the team in appearances with nine. Hiatt has five saves on the year.

This weekend series against Georgia Tech is the first for the Diamond Heels outside of Chapel Hill. Here is the rest of the schedule for the coming week:

Date

Time

Opponent

3-18-17

1:00 PM

at Georgia Tech

3-19-17

1:00 PM

at Georgia Tech

3-22-17

6:30 PM

at East Carolina

3-24-17

6:30 PM

vs. Miami

3-25-17

4:00 PM

vs. Miami

3-26-17

12:00 PM

vs. Miami