After the exam break, the North Carolina Tar Heels competed in two non-conference weekday games before a critical weekend series against Duke. This top-five team stumbled against another ranked team, and must refocus before traveling to Durham.
Here is where the Heels landed in the polls after an inactive weekend:
- D1Baseball.com Top 25: 4
- NCBWA: 4
- Baseball America: 3
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 4
- RPI: 3
Take a look at the latest results:
UNC Baseball Results - Week 12
|5/8/2018||vs. Richmond||W 6-2||33-13|
|5/9/2018||at Coastal Carolina||L 2-5||33-14|
On Tuesday night at the Bosh, Carolina started the scoring early against Richmond on an infield hit by Ashton McGee with the bases loaded. However, the Heels were unable to add any more runs.
The Spiders added runs in the third and the fifth to move ahead 2-1.
In the sixth, Kyle Datres scored Brandon Martorano on a chopper to third, then a wild throw by the third baseman scored Zack Gahagan.
Richmond’s third baseman continued to struggle in the next inning. A Dallas Tessar grounder found the five-hole (hockey term, folks) and Martorano and Cody Roberts scored on the error. UNC added one more in the eighth off a Jackson Hesterlee pinch hit RBI single and the Heels won 6-2.
Caden O’Brien, coming in relief for Rodney Hutchison, earned the victory for the Tar Heels and is now 5-0 on the season. Josh Hiatt returned from suspension, and pitched one inning, allowing no hits and one walk, while striking out one.
The Tar Heels traveled to Conway, South Carolina to take on No. 19 Coastal Carolina the next evening.
The Chanticleers jumped on Carolina early in the game with a two-run homer in the first. They added runs in the third and fifth to extend the lead to 4-0.
In the sixth, Ike Freeman cut the lead in half with a two-run shot of his own. However, the Heels could not muster any more runs, and a solo shot by Coastal Carolina in the eighth gave them the final margin of 5-2.
Coach Mike Fox, looking ahead to the weekend series to Duke, did not keep any one pitcher on the mound for more than two and one-thirds innings. Six UNC pitchers were used versus Coastal.
Here are the individual leaders for the Heels:
- Batting average: .340 - Kyle Datres (6th in ACC)
- Slugging percentage: .526 - Michael Busch
- Home runs: 11 - Michael Busch (T-9th in ACC)
- RBIs: 48 - Michael Busch (5th in ACC)
- Hits: 64 - Kyle Datres (4th in ACC)
- Runs: 48 - Kyle Datres (2nd in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .451 - Michael Busch (3rd in ACC)
- ERA: 1.69 - Ben Casparius (minimum 10 innings pitched)
- Strikeouts: 67 - Tyler Baum
- Innings pitched: 57.0 - Tyler Baum
- Wins: 6 - Brett Daniels (6-0) (T-4th in ACC)
- Saves: 3 - Josh Hiatt
After Clemson’s 2-1 series win over Florida State last weekend, the Tigers have jockeyed slightly ahead of Carolina for the overall ACC lead. Here are latest standings:
Current ACC Standings
The Tar Heels will make their way to Durham for one of the most important series of the season. No. 13 Duke (36-11, 15-8) is right on the heels of the Tar Heels in the Coastal Division standings. They are 2.5 games back with just six conference games remaining before the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have won five in a row, including a 2-1 series win over Virginia Tech two weekend ago.
Freshman first baseman Joey Loperfido is leading the way for Duke. The leads in the team in batting average (.331), slugging percentage (.529), and on-base percentage (.427). His .331 batting average ranks ninth in the ACC.
Left fielder and leadoff batter Jimmy Herron is doing a good job for the Blue Devils with a .298 average and .418 on-base percentage.
The strength of the Duke pitching staff comes from the bullpen, led by Ethan DeCaster. He has made 19 appearances this year, totaling 38.1 innings pitched. The righty holds a 4-0 record with a 0.70 ERA and 39 strikeouts. Jack Labosky, Matt Dockman, and Bill Chillari have all logged over at least 20 innings pitched this season and all have ERAs under 2.00, with Labosky recording a 0.00 ERA in 17 appearances and 25.2 innings pitched.
The UNC baseball program was featured in the latest article of Baseball America, highlighting their use of analytics. It is a very interesting article about how a pitching coach and student got together to create one of the most impressive analytics departments in Division I baseball. You can check out the article via the tweet from the Diamond Heels:
“It’s amazing the progress they’ve made there in a year and a half. This is better than 25 pro teams. I mean, you’re chasing down the Astros and a few other teams maybe."— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) May 9, 2018
How your Diamond Heels are leading college baseball into the analytic age: https://t.co/2ch2Wh9iOj pic.twitter.com/ABpVW0OWkH
UNC Baseball Upcoming Schedule
|5/11/2018||6:00 PM||at Duke|
|5/12/2018||1:00 PM||at Duke|
|5/13/2018||1:00 PM||at Duke|
|5/15/2018||6:00 PM||vs. UNC Wilmington|