The difference between advancing to the college World Series and taking a plane ride home could come down to simple swing of a bat as Chad Flack did in 2006 in Tuscaloosa Alabama as his ninth inning two run blast is one the best moments in Tar Heel baseball history. Flack alone hit two more home runs that changed the Tar Heels fate and allowed them to advance in baseball’s post season. The home run has been a key component to Tar Heel baseball success, but this season will a lack of a long ball halt the Heels from advancing far in the post season?
North Carolina has fifteen home runs as a team which puts them at tied for 214th in the nation. While the Tar Heels have manufactured runs they are still ranked 93rd in run production. The pitching staff ranks around 20th in ERA and the defense is 149th in the nation in fielding percentage. limited run production and a lack of power puts a lot of pressure on the teams pitching staff where every mistake is magnified. The Tar Heels will need to continue to get on base, steal and manufacture runs to alleviate stress on on its defense. The Tar Heels have seen an increase in power in the post season before and this year may be needed more than ever.
College baseball bracketology has Coastal Carolina as a possible match up in the regional. Coastal leads the nation in ERA and their program continues to improve each year. The Tar Heels will be a favorite to advance to the Super regional, but if they match up with a couple ace pitchers their season could come to an end quickly. Having Colin Moran back is a huge boost for the Tar Heels and the next three weeks will be a key time to allow him to get back into a rhythm of seeing live pitching.
The Diamond Heels look to sweep Boston college and head into next weeks series with Duke prior to rounding out the ACC baseball tournament. Keepingitheel.com will keep you up to date on the ACC baseball tournament and provide coverage of the regional.