UNC Baseball: With ACC Play Started, Diamond Heels are Rolling


The Diamond Heels started ACC play a few weeks ago by heading south to Clemson, South Carolina and sweeping the Tigers.

Though each game was close in the three game series, UNC showed why their bullpen is one of the best around with Junior Micheal Morin saving on each of his opportunities. Game 3 in the Clemson series showed UNC’s determination in late innings. Down 5-3 after six innings UNC would score 3 runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game then force extra innings.

Freshman Mike Zolk would get the eventual game winning RBI in the top half of the eleventh inning.

The Heels followed up on their 3-0 conference start with a win at UNC-Greensboro 5-1 bringing their overall record to 14-2.

The very next day, (Wednesday March 14th) UNC would travel back home and suffer their most disappointing loss of the season thus-far. The NO. 4 nationally ranked Tar Heels lost 7-4 against Gardner-Webb after leaving a season high 17 runners on base throughout the game. A throwing error by Junior SS Tommy Coyle  and some timely hitting by the Runnin’ Bulldogs in the top half of the seventh was just too much to overcome for the Heels.

As disappointing as the loss at home to Gardner-Webb was, Head Coach Mike Fox had to get his team to move on quick as they left for College Park Maryland to continue their conference schedule. Friday the sixteenth started another three game series away from home for the Heels against a conference foe.

Game 1 was another gem from the Heels Sophomore ace Kent Emanuel who threw 7.1 solid innings in a 4-3 win . Emanuel gave up 8 hits and only 3 earned runs while striking out 7. He now moves to 5-0 and 2-0 in conference.

Game 2 on Saturday was another win with the Diamond Heels putting up 9 runs on 12 hits and only allowing 5 runs on 8 hits. Junior CF Chaz Frank helped UNC from the leadoff spot with a game high 3 RBIS. Designated Hitter Tom Zengel also added 2 RBIs to move them to a perfect 5-0 conference record. (16-3 overall)

Heading into Game 3 against the Terrapins, UNC had already won the series and it seemed like their bats fell asleep. The heavy hitting Diamond Heels lineup was held scoreless for the first time this season. An overall great pitching performance by both teams kept the score tight throughout. The Senior righty Brett Harman from Maryland struck out 8 and gave up only 2 walks over 8 effective innings. UNC pitched just as well with Freshman Benton Moss starting and throwing 6 strong innings striking out 10.

Unfortunately Moss gave up the only run of Game 3 in the bottom half of the fourth. The Terps would win 1-0, giving UNC their first conference loss of the season.

Tuesday March 20, UNC was once again at home looking like the a Top 5 team by pounding the Ivy League Tigers . The game was called after six and a half innings due to rain. Prior to that, im pretty sure Princeton just wanted it to end as UNC put up 15 runs through just 6. OUCH!

The Heels had 10 different players with at least 1 RBI and a hit. Sophomore sensation Colin Moran lead UNC with a Game high 4 hits followed by 3 RBIs. He continues to keep his name on top of the Conference Player of the Year candidates list in most eyes.

UNC moves to 17-4 overall (5-1 conf.) on the year. They are 12-3 at home at the Bosh heading into their first Home series against a Conference opponent in North Carolina State.

Game 1 starts Saturday March 24, at 1 PM and is scheduled to be Televised on RSN.

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