Diamond Heels: Tar Heels dominate their rivals

Apr 5, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first base coach Mickey Morandini (12) grabs a baseball off the warning track at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first base coach Mickey Morandini (12) grabs a baseball off the warning track at Great American Ball Park. The Reds won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Diamond Heels used the perfect combination of bats and pitching to roll through another week!

In what looked to be the toughest week of the season for the Diamond Heels, they coasted yet again.

Following their dominant sweep of Boston College, the Heels had their much-anticipated match up against the Gamecocks of South Carolina on Tuesday. This game was added to the schedule fairly close to the beginning of the season.

At the beginning of the season, this game had potential to be one of the best games of the season, but it ended up being anything but that.

Following the game against USC, the Heels headed home to The Bosh to take on NC State.

The two rivals have had some good battles in recent years, and this series was huge for both teams.

South Carolina

UNC- 20

USC- 5

Make no mistake, you did read that score correctly. The fourth-ranked Heels obliterated the eighth-ranked Gamecocks.

The Heels never left a doubt in this one, leading 4-0 after the first inning.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

As is in most 20-run games, there were many contributors in the game for the Tar Heels. Six different Heels had a multi-RBI game, and ten players recorded an RBI.

Hitting wise, it would be hard to single out one guy as the star for the team. The usual suspects were great for the Heels as expected.

Logan Warmoth went 2-for-3, with two RBI’s. Brian Miller went 2-for-5 with two RBI’s and two runs scored. And shortstop Kyle Datres went 1-for-3 with four RBI’s and three runs scored.

On the mound, as usual for a weekday game, the Heels rolled out a handful of guys. No one guy went too long for the Heels, but several guys were solid.

Tyler Baum got the start, but he gave up two runs in his first two innings. Jason Morgan, who had the longest day, went four innings, while giving up two runs himself.

Among others, closer Josh Hiatt came in, but this time it was not for the save. Hiatt came on to finish off the blowout, and was stellar, like usual.

Carolina rolled again, allowing them to get their ninth straight win in the process.

NC State

UNC- 7

NC State- 2

The Diamond Heels started off their pivotal weekend series against their rival with a big win.

Coming into the series, the Wolfpack needed this series as much as the Heels did, due to their floundering record. State came into the series with a sub-.500 record in conference play, and was 19-15 overall.

Diamond Heels ace JB Bukauskas hurled an absolute gem, going seven innings, while only surrendering four hits and one earned run. Bukauskas also took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, only to be broken up by a two-out single. Hutchison and Hiatt came on in the last two innings to slam the door shut.

At the plate, the Heels got a dominant appearance from Logan Warmoth. The shortstop was a perfect 4-of-4, with an RBI and a run scored for the Heels. Kyle Datres also had a solid day at the plate, going 1-for-4, with two RBI’s and a run scored.

The Diamond Heels trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, but scored seven unanswered  runs to take a 7-1 lead in the ninth.  They ended up cruising to a 7-2 victory!

Game Two

UNC- 7

NC State- 1

By beating the Wolfpack on Saturday, the Heels ensured their sixth straight series win in ACC play.

The Heels sent Luca Dalatri to the bump, who picked up his fourth win of the season. Dalatri went a full six innings strong, giving up only one run and five hits in the process. His pitch count got pretty high, otherwise he might have stayed in a little longer.

Brett Daniels and Rodney Hutchison finished off the game, pitching the final three innings in shutout fashion.

While Warmoth did not have the same day at the plate, he did come up with a couple of big RBI’s to pace the Heels in their runaway victory. Brandon Riley and Tyler Lynn were the big hit-getters for the Heels, collecting two a piece. Riley also scored twice, and drove in another himself.

One thing that cannot be overstated is the Diamond Heels incredible balance of offense and defense. UNC can trot out one of the most intimidating batting lineups in college baseball, all while having a top-three pitching prospect.

That combination can be lethal, giving the Diamond Heels a good shot at winning in the College World Series.

Game Three

NC State- 4

UNC- 2

Unfortunately, the Heels could not complete the sweep of the Pack on Easter Sunday.

The Heels offense struggled to really get going until the fifth inning, when it scored its only two runs of the game. Brian Miller connected on a two-run single to bring in those runs.

The Heels only used two guys on the mound on Sunday, a rarity for them. They went with Austin Bergner out of the gates, who gave the Heels 4.1 innings of work. Bergner allowed four runs on five hits. Normal closer Josh Hiatt came on in extended relief, pitching 4.2 innings of stellar shutout baseball.

As previously stated, the Heels’ offense just didn’t have it on Sunday. The only RBI’s were by Miller in the fifth, which came with the Heels already down four runs. Cody Roberts and Tyler Lynn led the team with two hits each, but none came at an opportune time for the Tar Heels.

With a win, the Wolfpack avoided the sweep, and kept Carolina from winning its 30th game of the season. The loss dropped the Heels to 14-4 in ACC play.

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Check back with Keeping It Heel as the Heels host Liberty, then travel to Pittsburgh this weekend!