Posted: 10:32 p.m. Monday, April 15, 2013
By Brian Barbour
Last week's results: def. Elon 15-3, Liberty 7-5, swept Virginia Tech 21-8, 9-8(10), 3-0
Record Last Week: 5-0
Record This Season: 34-2, 15-2 ACC
Upcoming Schedule: 4/16 vs Coastal Carolina, 4/17 vs Elon, 4/20-4/22 vs Duke
Another week, another couple of games where UNC put up football scores.
The Tar Heels traveled to Elon and won 15-3. Brian Holberton, filling in for an injured Chaz Frank at the top of the lineup scored three times with Landon Lassiter, Colin Moran, Skye Bolt and Cody Stubbs doing most of the damage. Chis Munnelly, Chris McCue and Mason McCullough held the Phoenix to three runs.
On Wednesday, UNC opened up a 7-1 lead but had some issues closing the game out. Liberty would score four runs in the ninth before Tate Parrish finally shut the door. The Heels would need five pitchers for the half inning of work giving up four earned runs, three hits and three walks.
The ninth inning versus Liberty turned out to be precursor for how the Tar Heel pitching would perform over the weekend. Even Kent Emanuel was not immune from UNC giving up 16 runs in the first two games of the series versus Virginia Tech. In the first game, Chaz Frank returned to the lineup and hit a three run home run to stake the Heels to a 6-0 lead. The Hokies answered with four runs in an uncharacteristically bad outing for Emanuel who gave up 14 hits and eight runs, six of them earned. Of course that line wasn't nearly as bad as VT's Brad Makey who gave up 12 hits and 12 runs....in 3.1 innings.
The middle game of the series, saw the Tar Heel pitching had more issues keeping the Hokies off the base paths. Benton Moss gave up six runs but UNC still had a 8-6 lead in the bottom of the 8th when McCue would load the bases with no outs. Trent Thornton came in but walked in a run and gave up an RBI single before getting out of the inning. Thornton would close out the game with two scoreless innings and the game winning run coming when Colin Moran scored on a wild pitch.
The series finale, was a return to normal as far as the Tar Heel pitching goes. Hobbs Johnson combined with Trevor Kelley and Tate Parrish for a three hit shutout on the way to a 3-0 win. Johnson did struggle with his control walking six but was able to work around the free passes to keep the shutout intact.
The biggest news of the weekend was not UNC's sweep of Virginia Tech but Skye Bolt fouling a ball off his right foot on Friday night which resulted in a broken bone. At present it appears Bolt will miss 3-4 weeks which should mean he will return in time for the ACC Tournament or if all goes well for UNC's season finale with Virginia. Bolt will likely miss two crucial series on the road against NC State and Georgia Tech.
Bolt has been a major piece of UNC's incredible offensive attack and one reason why they are 34-2 and 15-2 in ACC play. Only having two losses at this point in the season is somewhat insane considering the nature of baseball. It will be interesting to see how well UNC covers for Bolt's absence over the final month of the regular season.