The North Carolina baseball team is very good and they have certainly proven it all season long. Unfortunately, no matter how many wins and few losses you have posted to this point, if tonight’s result against FAU ends in a loss, then none of it matters. The Diamond Heels have been extremely successful in post season play since 2006 especially when hosting a regional (save for last season) and have also been very good this season rebounding from losses outscoring opponents 64-13 this season in the following game.
I have to say that I’m still confused as to how the Heels have even ended up in this situation in the first place. How does one team lose a game when your starter carries a no hitter into the seventh coupled with the fact that you out hit your opponent 13-3? The answer last night was clear: there were way too many runners left on base. That’s a problem that is so easy to identify, yet can be quite difficult to fix. No one in the stadium last night expected Colin Moran, the potential top pick in the MLB draft, to ground into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning, but it happened. No one expected that Chaz Frank would go 4-5 and only come around to score once, but it happened. It’s just one of those things where you have to have a short memory and move on as quickly as possible.
Chris Munnelly will get the nod tonight for the Heels so it will be on him to help get the team over the top and into another weekend of baseball. Chris has actually been outstanding for the Tar Heels all season long. He’s logged a 6-0 record with a 2.36 ERA in 53.1 innings of work and seven starts and 18 total appearances. His strikeout numbers have been outstanding as well as his 58 total K’s equal out to 1.09 per inning. The only knock on Chris’s numbers is that as the fourth starter, he’s faced “lesser” competition all season long than the regular core of Tar Heel starters, but good consistent pitching is good consistent pitching no matter how you look at it.
The Tar Heels’ season could come to a screeching halt tonight against Florida Atlantic, but this team is still considered the #1 overall team in the entire field. Regardless of last night’s short comings, Carolina can and will still hit and Chris Munnelly can and will pitch consistently and effectively. I wouldn’t count the Heels out of this at all and I still think there is a great chance that Carolina will take this whole thing, but tonight is about beating Florida Atlantic. It all comes down to tonight. Win and keep playing or lose and your dream season comes to an end.