The North Carolina Tar Heels had a golden opportunity to move ahead, or at the very least keep pace, in the Coastal Division standings with a weekend series with last place Pitt.
However, Carolina lost two of three to Pitt and now find themselves a game back of Georgia Tech with just one series remaining before the ACC Tournament.
Below are the latest rankings for the Tar Heels:
- D1Baseball.com Top 25: 20
- NCBWA: 17
- Baseball America: 20
- USA Today Coaches Poll: 15
- RPI: 19
Here are Carolina’s latest results:
UNC Baseball Results
|3-6-20||vs. Notre Dame||L 5-8||10-5|
|3-7-20||vs. Notre Dame||L 8-11||10-6|
|3-8-20||vs. Notre Dame||L 8-14||10-7|
|3-10-20||vs. Gardner-Webb||W 13-6||11-7|
|3-11-20||vs. VMI||W 9-2||12-7|
In the opener against Pitt, Carolina fell behind in the bottom of the first and never recovered. The Panthers scored two runs and that would prove to be enough. Tyler Baum was peppered in his 5.1 innings of work, allowing four runs on nine hits.
The Tar Heels were held to just four hits the entire game, with Aaron Sabato accounting for half of those. In the sixth, UNC cut the lead in half with a RBI from Jackson Hesterlee. However, Pitt would go one to score five unanswered runs in the late innings to secure the 7-1 victory.
On Saturday, the series was wrapped up with a doubleheader.
In the first game, Austin Bergner threw a beauty of a game. He went for eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out seven. Sabato got Carolina on the board first with a RBI double in the first. UNC tacked on two more in the second that included a Brandon Martorano sac fly. In the sixth, Martorano drove in two on a single to extend the Carolina lead to 5-0.
With Bergner dominating and a five run cushion, it looked as though Carolina had it put away. However, in the ninth things got wild. Carolina doubled their score with five runs in the top of the ninth, capitalized by a Sabato two-run home run.
Pitt did their best to claw back into the game. Carolina went through three pitchers in the ninth, allowing six runs on three hits and four walks. Yet, they were able to close out the 10-6 win.
In the deciding game of the series, things were tight through the first two-thirds of the game. Ashton McGee scored the first run of the game off a wild pitch in the third, then Pitt scored a couple runs to make it 2-1.
Carolina took advantage of a Pitt error in the seventh to score a run. Dylan Enwiller’s suicide squeeze paid off as Hesterlee scored to make it 3-2. Yet, that was all Carolina could make happen that day.
Pitt responded with three of their own in the bottom half of the inning and tacked on two more in the eighth for the eventual 7-3 win.
On Tuesday night, Carolina put away High Point early in the ballgame. Danny Serretti started things off in the first with a sac fly, then UNC put up five in the second. A Hesterlee leadoff triple got the Heels going in the second. McGee, Sabato, and Dylan Harris all drove in runs that inning.
As with some of these nonconference weekday games, UNC pitched by committee against High Point. Eight Tar Heels toed the mound to contribute to the 7-0 victory.
These are the individual leaders for UNC:
- Batting average: .326 - Aaron Sabato
- Slugging percentage: .630 - Aaron Sabato (6th in ACC)
- Home runs: 12 - Michael Busch and Aaron Sabato
- RBI: 50 - Aaron Sabato
- Hits: 59 - Aaron Sabato
- Runs: 61 - Michael Busch (T-1st in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .448 - Michael Busch
- ERA: 2.25 - Gianluca Dalatri (minimum 10 innings pitched)
- Strikeouts: 75 - Tyler Baum (T-8th in ACC)
- Innings pitched: 67.0 - Tyler Baum
- Wins: 7 - Tyler Baum (7-3) (T-5th in ACC)
- Saves: 5 - Austin Love.
The individual performances of Aaron Sabato and Austin Bergner were recognized by the conference this week. Sabato was named ACC Player of the Week. During this past week, Sabato hit .600, hit three home runs, and had nine RBI. He also was slugging at 1.100 and had an on-base percentage of .667.
Bergner’s performance in the second game against Pitt earned him ACC Pitcher of the Week honors.
This is a big series coming up against NC State in Chapel Hill. This battle between two of the best teams in the league will certainly influence the ACC Tournament seedings, perhaps in a big way.
Each game, starting tonight with Adam Warren bobblehead night, will have a promotion, capped off with Senior Day on Saturday.
Come out to the Bosh to support the Diamond Heels!
Current ACC Standings
UNC Baseball Upcoming Schedule
|5/18/2023||6:00 PM||at Clemson|
|5/19/2023||6:00 PM||at Clemson|
|5/20/2023||1:00 PM||at Clemson|