The #5 seed North Carolina Tar Heels open the 2019 ACC Baseball Championship tonight at 7:00 PM at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park against #9 seed Virginia. You can tune in on Fox Sports South, ACC Network Extra, or a local affiliate.
After a regular season series finale loss against NC State, coupled with a Miami series win against Duke, Carolina dropped to the 5th seed in the league. UNC finds themselves in Pool D with 4th seed Miami and 9th seed Virginia, both of whom they’ll play to try and get to the elimination part of the tournament.
The Tar Heels won their regular season series versus Virginia this year. After dropping the first game, Carolina won the next two.
The last time UNC faced UVA in the ACC tournament was in 2014, when the Cavaliers snuck out the 3-2 win over the Tar Heels. That year, the Hoos were the College World Series runners-up.
Although starters have not been announced from either side, you may see Will Sandy start on the hill for the Heels in this opening game.
Prior to the tournament, four Carolina players earned 2019 honors, highlighted by Aaron Sabato as ACC Freshman of the Year.
Via UNC Athletics:
He is the first freshman since 2009 to hit more than 10 home runs in a season and his 13 home runs are currently tied for second most by a freshman in Carolina history, only trailing Chad Flack’s 15 home runs during his freshman campaign in 2005. Sabato also led the team in batting average during conference play (.358), and is the first freshman to do that since Colin Moran was named ACC Freshman of the year in 2011. He currently leads the team in batting average (.339), hits (65), doubles (20), home runs (13), RBIs (54), total bases (126) and slugging percentage (.656).
Sabato was joined on the All-ACC First Team by Michael Busch. Busch leads the team in runs scored (63) and walks (54).
Tyler Baum, who ranks 7th in the ACC with 7 wins, was named to the All-ACC Third Team and Danny Serretti was named to the All Freshman Team.
The Tar Heels will play their next pool game on Friday at 3:00 PM versus Miami. If they advance out of the pool, UNC will play the Pool A winner on Saturday at 1:00 PM.