The North Carolina Tar Heels (26-15, 9-10 ACC) look to bounce back this weekend after their disappointing sweep by Boston College.
Carolina travels to Blacksburg to take on a Virginia Tech team with nearly an identical record to UNC.
Here is the schedule for the weekend:
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 being swept by Boston College, Carolina has plummeted in the polls.
UNC is still ranked in one of the national polls:
- D1Baseball.com: n/a
- Baseball America: n/a
- NCBWA: 25
- Collegiate Baseball: n/a
- USA Today Coaches Poll: n/a
The Tar Heels hosted UNCW on Tuesday night, and did not waste any time taking care of business.
Vance Honeycutt set the mood with a tremendous diving catch to register the first out of the game.
After the Seahawks scored one in the top of the first, Carolina responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning.
After Jackson Van De Brake drove in Honeycutt on a double to center, Casey Cook got on with a walk. Cook’s walk extended his on-base streak to 30 games and is the third UNC freshman since 1999 to achieve that mark.
With two on, Mac Horvath made UNCW pay with a three-run home run to left. Alberto Osuna added a solo shot to round out a five-run first.
In the second, the Tar Heels rallied with two outs. Once again with Van De Brake and Cook on base, Horvath hit his second-consecutive three-run home run to extend the UNC lead to 8-1.
Colby Wilkerson’s sacrifice fly to center scored Hunter Stokely in the third.
In the fourth, UNCW got one. In the bottom half, the Tar Heels loaded the bases. Stokely drove in one run, then Osuna drove in two on a single to center. Stokely eventually scored on a wild pitch, then Van De Brake rounded out the scoring with a two-RBI double to left-center to make it 15-2.
The final runs of the game were scored in the bottom of the sixth. Once again, UNC loaded the bases. Horvath drove in two on a single to center. His eight RBIs are the most for a Tar Heel since Marshall Hubbard in 2004. Tomas Frick’s RBI single was the game’s final tally in the eventual 18-2 victory.
Six UNC pitchers toed the mound on Tuesday. After allowing four hits in the first two innings, five pitchers combined to allow just two hits over the final seven innings.
ICYMI: the Tar Heel bats were on last night, tallying the most runs scored in a game this season!— Carolina Baseball (@DiamondHeels) April 26, 2023
Take another look at some of the biggest moments ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/IDX6wy99pR
Virginia Tech (24-14, 10-10 ACC) has won its previous two ACC weekend series and is trending up after a slow start to conference play.
The Hokies hosted no. 5 Virginia the first weekend of April and won the series. Including that series win, Virginia Tech is 9-5 since that time.
Junior Jack Hurley is VT’s top hitter. He ranks in the top ten in the ACC in home runs (15) and slugging percentage (.769). Hurley has the team lead in batting average (.343), hits (49), RBIs (42), and total bases (110).
Sophomore righty Drue Hackenberg is VT’s workhorse on the mound. He ranks second in the ACC in innings pitched (60.1) and fourth in strikeouts (72). He has 18 more innings pitched and 34 more strikeouts than the next Hokie on the roster.
Hackenberg was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week earlier this week after his performance at Florida State. He tallied a 12-strikeout complete-game victory over the Seminoles. Hackenberg finished the game without issuing a walk, hitting a batter, or surrendering a home run.
Below are the individual leaders for UNC:
Batting (minimum 2 PA/G and 75% of games played):
- Batting average: .362 - Hunter Stokely
- Slugging percentage: .709 - Mac Horvath (7th in ACC)
- Home runs: 16 - Mac Horvath (3rd in ACC)
- RBI: 45 - Mac Horvath (T-5th in ACC)
- Hits: 51 - Casey Cook
- Runs: 49 - Mac Horvath (T-6th in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .481 - Jackson Van De Brake (8th in ACC)
- Stolen bases: 17 - Mac Horvath (T-1st in ACC)
Pitching (minimum 1 IP/G):
- ERA: 3.95 - Connor Bovair
- Strikeouts: 55 - Max Carlson
- Innings pitched: 54.2 - Connor Bovair (8th in ACC)
- Wins: 4 - Connor Bovair
- Saves: 5 - Kevin Eaise (T-7th in ACC)
- Opposing Batting Average: .231 - Connor Bovair