UNC Baseball: Diamond Heels begin final regular season week

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 21: Head coach Mike Fox
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 21: Head coach Mike Fox /

The Diamond Heels are in good position to win the ACC Coastal in the final week of the season

We have now entered the final week of the college baseball regular season and the North Carolina Tar Heels essentially control their own fate. After losing a weekend series to Duke on the road, the Diamond Heels managed to stay in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division with a win on Sunday.

They enter this final important week 1.5 games up on the Blue Devils with just a home ACC series left against Virginia Tech this weekend.

A series win means the Tar Heels win the Coastal Division, but a series loss and even a sweep puts them in some danger.

Before the big series against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels traveled to take on UNC-Wilmington for their final road game of the year. The Seahawks were able to complete the season series sweep over the Tar Heels with a 4-2 win.

While it’s a non-conference game, another loss for the Tar Heels is a little troubling.

After winning eight-straight games, UNC has now lost four of their last five. That’s something you don’t want to see as the team heads into postseason play.

As for the big ACC series this weekend the Tar Heels and Hokies will meet in Game 1 Thursday night at 6 p.m. Cooper Criswell is scheduled to get the start in the opener and will oppose Luke Scherzer. Criswell enters the game with a 3.24 ERA and is 3-2 this season for the Tar Heels.

Scherzer is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and has 16 strikeouts with 8 walks on the season.

The Tar Heels will send right-hander Austin Bergner to the hill with a 5-2 record and 4.70 ERA on the season. Bergner has struck out 65 batters on the year and when he has his stuff, he can be tough to hit. He will oppose Ian Seymour who is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA.

Game 3 could be the big one for UNC if they split the first two of the series. The Hokies have announced that Connor Coward will take the mound for Saturday’s finale but UNC has yet to announce a starter. Mike Fox could be waiting to see how the first two games go and if the Tar Heels need a win, he could make an adjustment.

Here are some scenarios for UNC going into this series:

  • Can clinch ACC Coastal with a series win over Virginia Tech. If UNC loses two games to the Hokies, they need Duke to lose at least one.
  • Can clinch ACC No. 1 seed with sweep of Hokies and Clemson losing one game. If two teams are tied for same record, head-to-head is applied. UNC and Clemson did not play so therefore it would go to record against next highest seed. That would break down to N.C. State or Duke.

To see updated ACC baseball standings, please visit the official site of the conference.

Next: Diamond Heels fall in final poll

This weekend could be a big one for the Tar Heels regarding their postseason play as they hope to wrap up the at least the ACC Coastal Division. For more on the Diamond Heels please check back with Keeping It Heel.