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UNC Baseball: The Tar Heels advance to the ACC semifinals

The Tar Heels pound Virginia Tech to go 2-0 in pool play and advance on.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 06 North Carolina v South Carolina Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Back at the beginning of April, you’d be excused if you weren’t focused on Carolina baseball. There were some other things going on at the time, and after a hot start the Diamond Heels were crashing to earth, first being swept by Miami, and then losing two out of three at home to Virginia Tech. During that series, the Tar Heels’ pitching staff surrendered 25 runs, and had to win a slugfest 10-6 in order to scratch out their only win.

On Friday night, they scored ten runs again...only Virginia Tech didn’t score any.

While the offense was the star of the night, the really important stat of the night was this: winning pitcher Brandon Schaeffer pitched a complete game shutout, scattering six hits, striking out six, and only having to throw 102 pitches in order to get the W for the Tar Heels. With the Tar Heels looking at a shot for the ACC Championship, their arms are going to be rested.

The Tar Heels opened the scoring early and often on the Hokies, hanging four runs on Drue Hackenberg in the first inning. This included a two run shot by Vance Honeycutt, the first of two that he would hit out of Truist Field in Charlotte. The stat line for Honeycutt: 3-3, two homers, three RBI, and two walks. Angel Zarate and Danny Serretti would also see the ball leave the yard as the Tar Heels combined for 16 hits.

The win marks Carolina’s 13th in their last 15 games, taking them from barely breathing with the NCAA bubble to having a legitimate shot to be a host for a first weekend regional. The Hokies are in contention to be a top overall NCAA seed, having their best season in years, and they looked unstoppable in their 18-6 rout of Clemson. Shutting that team out, and out hitting them the way they did will continue to bolster the Tar Heels’ resume.

By going 2-0, the Tar Heels advance out of their pool along with Notre Dame, NC State, and Pittsburgh. The Tar Heels will face off against the Irish at 1 PM today on the ACC Network in the first game of the day. The winner faces off against the NC State and Pitt winner for the championship tomorrow at Noon on ESPN2.