The weekend sweep of Georgia Tech has put the North Carolina Tar Heels in first place in the Coastal Division. This weekend, the division leaders in the ACC will battle in Raleigh as Carolina plays NC State.
Here is a breakdown of UNC rankings in the major polls:
- D1Baseball.com Top 25: 10
- NCBWA: 11
- Baseball America: 10
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 12
- RPI: 8
Take a look at the latest results:
UNC Baseball Results - Week 10
|4/20/2018||vs. Georgia Tech||W 9-3||25-13|
|4/21/2018||vs. Georgia Tech||W 9-8||26-13|
|4/22/2018||vs. Georgia Tech||W 10-3||27-13|
|4/24/2018||vs. Coastal Carolina||Cancelled due to rain||27-13|
|4/25/2018||vs. Western Carolina||W 8-2||28-13|
In the series opener, a few Tar Heel Blog writers and editors were in attendance to catch the action. After Georgia Tech opened the scoring in the second, the Tar Heels responded in the bottom half of the inning. Michael Busch added to his RBI total with two runs scoring on his single. In the next at-bat, Kyle Datres continued his tear with a three-run homer to put Carolina ahead for good.
The Yellow Jackets added one in third. In the fifth, Cody Roberts hit a two-run inside-the-park home run. GT’s center fielder misjudged the ball and his slide, and the baseball rolled to the centerfield wall. According to UNC Athletics, the last inside-the-park home run for Carolina was Jay Cox at Georgia Tech in 2004.
After another Tech run was scored in the sixth, Ike Freeman responded in the seventh with a solo shot, his second home run of the season. One more Carolina run was added in the eighth off a Brandon Riley fielder’s choice, and the Tar Heels won 9-3.
Check out all three of tonight's Carolina homers - including one "the hard way" pic.twitter.com/RrEFSZOy5u— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) April 21, 2018
Game two of the weekend series was an epic ballgame. The Tar Heels started the scoring, with Freeman hitting a RBI single in the first, and Dallas Tessar notched a RBI off a sac fly in the second.
The Georgia Tech bats came alive in the middle innings, scoring two in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one in the seventh.
Down 6-2 and running out of time, the Tar Heels rallied in the eighth. Jackson Hesterlee pinch-hit with the bases loaded and two outs, and nailed a grand slam, the first as a Tar Heel for the junior college transfer, to tie the game at six.
After a scoreless ninth, free baseball was coming to the Bosh. In the top of the tenth, a two-RBI single with two outs and the bases loaded pushed the Yellow Jackets ahead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Brandon Martorano got one back off a RBI double. Coming in as a pinch-hitter, Ben Casparius scored Martorano on a RBI triple to tie the game. Tessar earned the game winning RBI off a pop fly to right. There was a play at the plate, and the Georgia Tech catcher could not hang on to the ball, allowing Brendan Illies to score the winning run.
The Tar Heels were looking for the sweep on Sunday. Roberts started the scoring with a RBI double in the second, then Zack Gahagan hit a two-out single that scored one. In the third, Busch hit a homer to make it 3-0.
GT narrowed the margin with a run in the fourth, but could not get much going against the tall righty Cooper Criswell. He went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five.
Carolina put the game away in the seventh with a seven run inning. Zack Gahagan hit a two-run tater down the left field line. Riley earned a RBI on a sac fly, then both Freeman and Roberts had two-RBI doubles to increase the lead to 10-1. The Yellow Jackets tallied just two runs in the eighth, and the Tar Heels completed the sweep with a 10-3 victory.
Tuesday’s game versus Coastal Carolina was cancelled due to rain, and a make up date has not been scheduled.
In Wednesday’s game versus Western Carolina, the Tar Heels started the scoring early with a Riley two-run home run. Datres added a RBI single in the second to make it a three run lead.
Carolina’s fifth inning put the game away, scoring four runs. The first run was walked in, then Ashton McGee added another on a RBI single. The final two runs were also walked in.
WCU scored their lone two runs in the sixth, and Carolina added one more in the eighth for the 8-2 final.
Seven UNC pitchers were used during the victory Wednesday, combing for 13 strikeouts.
Here is a update on conference team stats, via UNC Athletics:
Through 21 ACC games, the Diamond Heels lead (or are tied for the lead) the conference in the following:— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) April 26, 2018
Batting Average: (.296)
On-Base Percentage (.394) Slugging Percentage (.455)
Doubles (42) T-1st
Triples (6) - T-1st#GoHeels
Here are the individual leaders for the Heels:
- Batting average: .355 - Kyle Datres (6th in ACC)
- Slugging percentage: .556 - Brandon Martorano (6th in ACC)
- Home runs: 10 - Michael Busch (T-6th in ACC)
- RBIs: 46 - Michael Busch (1st in ACC)
- Hits: 59 - Kyle Datres (3rd in ACC)
- Runs: 41 - Kyle Datres (T-2nd in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .457 - Michael Busch (4th in ACC)
- ERA: 2.00 - Brett Daniels (minimum 10 innings pitched)
- Strikeouts: 57 - Tyler Baum
- Innings pitched: 53.0 - Tyler Baum
- Wins: 6 - Brett Daniels (6-0) (T-2nd in ACC)
- Saves: 3 - Josh Hiatt
Current ACC Standings
The Tar Heels travel east to take on the Atlantic Division leaders NC State (31-8, 15-6). This is an important matchup for both teams as the second place teams in each division are right behind the leaders. Certainly, this matchup between these two ranked teams will have ACC Tournament and NCAA Regional implications.
Along with the Tar Heels, the Wolfpack can hit the ball. Brett Kinneman was named to the 2018 Golden Spikes (top amateur baseball player in the United States) Midseason Watch List earlier this month. The left fielder is tied for the conference lead in home runs (13), and is second in RBIs (45) and slugging percentage (.634).
Another player to watch is leadoff batter and center fielder Josh McLain. He leads the ACC in hits (67) and is third in batting average (.362).
Brian Brown, the left handed senior, is one of the top pitchers in the country. He was also named to the Golden Spikes Midseason Watch List. He is 6-0 this season, and in 63.1 innings pitched, he has amassed a 0.99 ERA.
UNC Baseball Upcoming Schedule
|4/27/2018||6:30 PM||at NC State|
|4/28/2018||6:30 PM||at NC State|
|4/29/2018||1:00 PM||at NC State|
|5/1/2018||6:00 PM||vs. UNC Asheville|