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UNC Baseball: Midweek recap and weekend of 3/10

Carolina starts its ACC schedule today against Virginia.

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

The North Carolina Tar Heels start their ACC baseball schedule today against a ranked Virginia team.

Due to weather, Sunday’s game has been moved to Saturday for a doubleheader at Boshamer Stadium.

Below is the weekend schedule:

UNC Baseball Upcoming Schedule

Date Time Opponent
Date Time Opponent
2/23/2024 5:00 PM vs. East Carolina
2/24/2024 2:00 PM vs. East Carolina
2/25/2024 2:00 PM at East Carolina

UNC’s seven-game winning streak has improved the team’s overall average in the national polls.

Carolina has moved up in three rankings, maintained their previous ranking in one, and dropped slightly in another.

Here are the current rankings for UNC:

  • 14
  • Baseball America: 19
  • NCBWA: 13
  • Collegiate Baseball: 21
  • USA Today Coaches Poll: 17

In Tuesday’s game versus Western Carolina, each team started with two runs in the first inning.

Eric Grintz drove in two off his double in the bottom of the first to tie the game.

The Catamounts plated one in the second and held the 3-2 lead until Alberto Osuna’s solo shot in the third.

Carolina got in the lead in the fourth off a wild pitch that allowed Patrick Alvarez to score. Vance Honeycutt followed up with a two-run home run to extend the UNC lead to 6-3.

WCU got one back in the fifth, but Carolina scored the game’s final runs in the bottom half of the inning to secure the win.

Colby Wilkerson drove in Osuna during a two-out rally, and Casey Cook crossed the plate on another wild pitch.

Some gremlins caused power issues with the stadium lights, and after a lengthy delay in the dark, the game was called.

Freshman lefty Kyle Percival earned his second victory of the season in 4.1 innings of work.

Wednesday’s game against Penn State was moved up to 1:30 PM due to the lighting issues at the Bosh.

Tomas Frick started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run.

The Nittany Lions responded in the top of the second with three runs, all through small ball.

After a scoreless third, the Tar Heels put the game away in the fourth.

Cook and Alvarez each had an RBI single to start the scoring in the fourth. Then, Honeycutt drove in Cook on his double.

Frick put the exclamation point on the fourth inning with a grand slam.

Each team traded runs in the fifth, including a Mac Horvath sac fly.

Hunter Stokely extended the lead to nine after his three-run home run in the sixth.

PSU’s fifth and final tally came in the seventh.

Wilkerson and Reece Holbrook each had an RBI in the eighth for the final tally of 15-5.

Will Sandy was pulled early after the three-run Penn State second inning. Five pitchers appeared after Sandy, with no one lasting more than 1.2 innings.

Freshman righty Matthew Matthijs impressed with five strikeouts against the seven batters he faced. He did not allow a run or a walk.

Virginia (12-0, 0-0) has a perfect record entering ACC play. The Cavaliers are ranked as high as no. 6 in a national poll, and average a ranking of no. 11 across the five major polls.

The Hoos have the best team batting average in the ACC while having the fewest strikeouts.

Junior catcher Kyle Teel leads the ACC in batting average at .568. He is also top ten in slugging percentage (.818), on-base percentage (.642), runs scored (19), and hits (25).

Junior third baseman Jake Gelof is another bat to watch. He leads the team in home runs (4), RBIs (21), and is second in slugging percentage (.787).

On the mound, Virginia ranks second in strikeouts per game, third in team ERA, and fourth in opposing batting average.

UVA has two starting pitchers with ERAs under two- Jack O’Connor (1.72) and Brian Edginton (1.76).

Edginton and Nick Parker lead the Cavaliers with 22 strikeouts, while O’Connor has the lowest opposition batting average among starters (.176).

All of Virginia’s starters are receiving equal work so far this season. Connelly Early leads the team with 16.2 innings pitched, while Edginton has thrown 15.1 innings, the least among starters.

Lefty junior Jake Berry leads the bullpen with 10.2 innings of work while not allowing a single run this season. His 13 strikeouts and .059 opponent batting average are the best in the bullpen.

Below are the individual leaders for UNC:

Batting (minimum 2 PA/G and 75% of games played):

  • Batting average: .400 - Tomas Frick
  • Slugging percentage: .887 - Mac Horvath (6th in ACC)
  • Home runs: 7 - Mac Horvath (T-2nd in ACC)
  • RBI: 22 - Tomas Frick (T-3rd in ACC)
  • Hits: 22 - Tomas Frick (T-3rd in ACC)
  • Runs: 21 - Mac Horvath (T-5th in ACC)
  • On-base percentage: .500 - Patrick Alvarez and Hunter Stokely
  • Stolen bases: 9 - Mac Horvath (2nd in ACC)

Pitching (minimum 1 IP/G):

  • ERA: 1.76 - Connor Bovair
  • Strikeouts: 21 - Max Carlson (10th in ACC)
  • Innings pitched: 18.2 - Max Carlson (4th in ACC)
  • Wins: 2 - Jake Knapp
  • Saves: n/a
  • Opposing Batting Average: .159 - Max Carlson (10th in ACC)