If you’ve been a regular reader of the Diamond Heels update, you’ll know that after a torrid start the Tar Heel baseball team has cooled off so much that they are completely unrecognizable from the one that won eleven of their first twelve. The road ahead isn’t getting any easier, and coming off a tough weekend versus the Yellow Jackets, some momentum was needed.
UNC Baseball Weekend Schedule
- 4/22 @UVa-6PM, ACCN Extra
- 4/23 @UVa-1PM, ACCN Extra
- 4/24 @UVa-2PM, ESPNU
The Tar Heels still remain unranked after a 1-3 week last week
Recap-UNC vs. Campbell 4/19
The Tar Heels started with the hot bats against the Camels on Tuesday night, as they managed to jump out to a 2-0 lead on the strength of a single by Hunter Stokely, which scored Alberto Osuna and Mac Horvath. The Tar Heels went with a bullpen game as Shawn App got the start but only went two innings, surrendering a run, and Nik Pry would come on to give up another run to the Camels leading to a tie score after four innings.
Osuna battled back in the fifth to give the Tar Heels the lead for good with another single that brought Horvath around for his second run of the game. The offense then exploded in the sixth for three runs, as Angel Zarate was able to single home two runs, and Horvath sacrificed in a third. Campbell would claw two more on the board in the seventh, but from there Davis Palermo would enter and pitch three scoreless innings to grab the save. Connor Boviar would get the win after two innings of work.
Yes, baseball is odd. Boviar pitched two innings and got the win, Palermo pitched three innings and got a save. The game was a much-needed win for the Tar Heels, as they were able win despite never getting a hit bigger than a double of the seven they collected.
The Cavaliers enter the weekend third in the Coastal at 10-8, while the Tar Heels sit at 8-10 and next to last. Much like the Tar Heels, the majority of their losses this season have come in conference as they sport a 28-10 overall record.
After a weekend where the Tar Heels had games decided by scores of 12-15, 10-5, and 8-11, they now stare down against the league leaders in pitching. The Cavs’ staff boasts a 3.40 ERA on the season, are second in the conference in strikeouts, and opponents are only hitting .212 against them. The Cavs are fourth in the league in hitting, hitting .315 overall, and are second behind Georgia Tech in runs produced. They’ve done it only hitting 50 homers, in the bottom third of the league, meaning they will nibble you apart.
Much like Carolina, Virginia started hot but they have been scuffling lately. This month they’ve been swept by Miami, lost two of three to Pitt, and lost midweek games to VCU and Old Dominion. In short, this sets up as a series between two teams looking to reverse their recent fortunes, and it could be seen as a difference-maker when bids for the NCAA Tournament come out.
Can the Tar Heels get a big series win on the road and start to right the ship in time for the rest of the season? With only three ACC Series left after this one, if the Heels want to have an argument to fight for the College World Series, they’ll need to put their struggles behind them.