Despite their five-game winning streak ending on Tuesday night, the North Carolina Tar Heels (33-18, 14-11 ACC) have won seven of 10 heading into the regular season’s final weekend.
Carolina looks to move up a spot or two in the bracket in next weekend’s ACC Baseball Championship as the team takes on Clemson:
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|
UNC is not ranked in any of the national polls. The team is the first one out in the Coaches Poll and is ranked #25 in RPI.
On Tuesday, the Tar Heels traveled to Conway, South Carolina, to take on Coastal Carolina, minus some key starters who were serving suspensions after last week’s incident between Jackson Van De Brake and a Gardner-Webb pitcher. Van De Brake, Vance Honeycutt, Tomas Frick, and Johnny Castagnozzi all were held out of the Tuesday lineup.
Nevertheless, Carolina started on time. In the first, UNC scored two runs on some small ball, then redshirt freshman Dylan King tallied his first hit and RBI of his career. The Chanticleers responded in the bottom halves of the first and second innings to take a 5-3 lead.
After both starters were chased after the opening stanza, the teams scored no runs from the third to the sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Coastal Carolina hit a three-run home run that was the eventual winning margin.
The Tar Heels rallied in the late innings. With two outs in the eighth, redshirt senior Max Riemer hit a two-run home run. In the ninth, Mac Horvath started with a leadoff triple. Hunter Stokley got Horvath across the plate, but Carolina could not muster any more runs in the 8-6 loss.
Clemson (36-17, 17-10 ACC) is ranked in the national polls, as high as #7 in the NCBWA poll.
The Tigers are the hottest team in the conference. Clemson is on a nine-game winning streak and will end the season second in the Atlantic Division no matter the outcome this weekend. That includes back-to-back weekend conference sweeps. Their last loss was on April 28 during the second game of a doubleheader versus Boston College.
Sophomore Billy Amick is the current ACC Player of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week. Amick is second in the conference in batting average (.422) and is fourth in slugging percentage (.781) and OPS (1.247).
The Tigers have four players that have started in at least 50 games and have batting averages over .300.
True freshman Cam Cannarella is tied for second in the ACC with 83 hits, ranks fourth in runs scored (62), and ranks sixth in the conference in batting average (.388).
On th emound, junior lefty Caden Grice has a 6-1 record in 55 innings of work this season. He ranks 10th in the ACC with a 3.60 ERA and leads the Tigers with 73 strikeouts.
Below are the individual leaders for UNC:
Batting (minimum 2 PA/G and 75% of games played):
- Batting average: .348 - Casey Cook
- Slugging percentage: .739 - Mac Horvath (7th in ACC)
- Home runs: 21 - Mac Horvath (2nd in ACC)
- RBI: 61 - Mac Horvath (3rd in ACC)
- Hits: 61 - Mac Horvath
- Runs: 67 - Mac Horvath (2nd in ACC)
- On-base percentage: .459 - Casey Cook
- Stolen bases: 22 - Mac Horvath (1st in ACC)
Pitching (minimum 1 IP/G):
- ERA: 4.78 - Jake Knapp
- Strikeouts: 65 - Max Carlson
- Innings pitched: 68.1 - Connor Bovair (9th in ACC)
- Wins: 4 - Connor Bovair, Jake Knapp, Max Carlson
- Saves: 5 - Kevin Eaise (T-8th in ACC)
- Opposing Batting Average: .245 - Max Carlson