After a hot start to the season, the North Carolina Tar Heels (21-12, 7-8 ACC) have lost four of their last five.
This weekend, Carolina faces off against a Georgia Tech squad with a nearly identical record.
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|
After spending last week in the 20s of each of the national polls, UNC has dropped from all the rankings.
- D1Baseball.com: n/a
- Baseball America: n/a
- National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association: n/a
- Collegiate Baseball Newspaper: n/a
- USA TODAY Coaches Poll: n/a
Carolina hosted NC A&T on Tuesday, and the struggling Aggies earned a much-deserved boost in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels started the scoring with a two-RBI single from Angel Zarate in the bottom of the third.
A&T responded forcibly in the top of the fourth with a six-run explosion. The Aggies started with some small ball, scoring a RBI single to get them on the board. After loading the bases, A&T hit a grand slam to push ahead. The Aggies tallied another RBI single to cap off the inning.
UNC got back into the game in the sixth. Danny Serretti hit a two-run home run and Mac Horvath added a solo shot to pull Carolina within one run.
However, A&T scored the decisive run in the seventh.
A final push by Alberto Osuna and his solo home run came in the bottom of the eighth, but that was the final margin on Tuesday.
Tuesday night’s loss was the first non-conference home loss of the season, and just the second loss in nine games against the Aggies.
Georgia Tech (21-13, 7-8 ACC) is tied with UNC for the second to last spot in the Coastal Division.
In their first ACC series during early March, the Yellow Jackets swept Virginia Tech. GT lost the next three conference series until earning a 2-1 series decision against Florida State last weekend.
The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in team batting average (.327), hits (409), and total bases (680).
Andrew Jenkins ranks third in the conference with a .400 batting average. Teammate Kevin Parada leads the league in hits (55), with Jenkins falling right behind him with 54 hits.
Parada is one of the top sluggers in the ACC, leading the conference in home runs (15), ranking second in RBIs (50), and fifth in slugging percentage (.752).
On the flip side of this offensive power, the GT pitching staff has struggled. The pitching staff ranks second to last in the ACC in team ERA. They have allowed the second-most hits, runs, and earned runs, while batters have earned the second-most walks and second-highest batting average.
This weekend’s matchup will nearly be one of opposites. Can the Carolina pitching staff slow down GT’s bats? Or can the UNC batters take advantage of the Yellow Jackets’ pitching struggles?
Below are the individual leaders for UNC:
Batting (minimum 2 PA/G and 75% of games played):
- Batting average: .384 - Angel Zarate (6th in ACC)
- Slugging percentage: .613 - Alberto Osuna
- Home runs: 11 - Alberto Osuna (T-9th in ACC)
- RBI: 28 - Alberto Osuna
- Hits: 53 - Angel Zarate (3rd in ACC)
- Runs: 34 - Vance Honeycutt
- On-base percentage: .469 - Angel Zarate
Pitching (minimum 1 IP/G):
- ERA: 1.56 - Caden O’Brien
- Strikeouts: 48 - Kyle Mott (9th in ACC)
- Innings pitched: 38.0 - Brandon Schaeffer
- Wins: 6 - Kyle Mott (T-2nd in ACC)
- Saves: 4 - Caden O’Brien (T-5th in ACC)