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Virginia Tech, meanwhile, is in desperate need of success. The Hokies are on the outside looking in right now in the ACC race. Only the top ten squads in the league standings make the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. The Hokies sit in eleventh position while the Tar Heels check in at No. 8.
One of the keys to deciding this weekend’s series will be Carolina’s run support for its pitching staff.
Head Coach Mike Fox says UNC’s offensive catalyst runs through the hard working Michael Russell.
“He started off a little slow – just trying a little bit too hard. He’s kind of settled in and is playing with a lot of confidence. He’s such a hard worker and very detailed-oriented. He wants to win,” Coach Fox says.
Coach Fox says freshman slinger Zac Gallen’s struggles from the mound this year are surprising considering how well he performed in the lead-up to the 2014 campaign.
“What’s funny about Zach is that in the fall, he didn’t walk a batter. He was the best strike thrower on our team. He’s hit a little rough patch there where he hasn’t had the command,” Coach Fox says.
Carolina’s up-and down season may have a lot to do with the extreme youth and inexperience on the roster. But Coach Fox and the players aren’t making any excuses.
Coach Fox says his guys have to be fired up and ready to compete at the highest level every outing, especially due to the name on the front of their jerseys.
“Us being the state school and obviously our history, we got a target on us no matter what. If you don’t like Carolina, you generally dislike Carolina. That’s the case. But I think once the game starts, it’s just kids competing against one another,” Coach Fox says.
The Tar Heels will have another opportunity to defend their home turf this weekend for what is shaping up to be a beautiful three days at Boshamer Stadium.
Carolina leads the all-time series with Virginia Tech 64-23-2 and has not lost to the Hokies since way back in 2007.