Carolina Baseball Suffers First Shutout

The North Carolina baseball team dropped a second straight game to East Carolina this season after being shutout 1-0 Tuesday evening at Boshamer Stadium for the first time in 2014.

With the loss, the Tar Heels fell to 27-19 overall on the year while the Pirates improved to 28-18.

It was a pitcher’s duel on a cool, wet game under the lights, but ECU’s Reid Love edged UNC’s Taylore Cherry to get the win. Love surrendered a mere five hits over nine innings and didn’t walk a single batter.

Cherry allowed eight hits and gave up just one run in six innings of duty on the mound.

Carolina’s best scoring chance likely came in the first inning when Michael Russell recorded a lead-off single, extending his career-best hitting streak to 18 games. Russell got into scoring position after Parks Jordan’s sacrifice, but no runs were manufactured.

Russell later left the game in the third inning with a sore back, but the exam break should come at a good time for the hot-swinging Tar Heel.

After the break, Carolina will resume action next Tuesday at 6 p.m. to host Campbell.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-suffers-first-shutout-baseball-season/

Mike Fox: ‘Every Game is Critical’ as Tar Heels Host Pirates

The North Carolina baseball team, 27-18 overall and 13-11 in ACC play, will be looking to continue its four-game winning streak when welcoming East Carolina, 27-18 on the season and 13-8 in Conference USA action, to Boshamer Stadium Tuesday evening for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

Carolina slugger Skye Bolt says unlike most seasons, the Diamond Heels don’t have to automatic firepower to mow down opponents. He says this year; it takes a scrappy effort from the entire lineup to be successful.

“We got to go out there and play hard-nosed ball. We’re not a team that can just show up with talent and win ball games naturally. We can’t wait for things to happen. We got to start making them happen. We’re going to have to cycle some guys in and out and figure out who can get it done,” Bolt says.

Bolt says getting lightning-fast Adam Pate on base to help manufacture runs can really aid the Carolina offense.

“He knows that he can run. We all know that he can run. Having your fastest guy on the team on first base with no outs is how you want to start every inning,” Bolt says.

Exam break is coming up for the Tar Heels, but a chance at revenge comes first. The Pirates took down the Tar Heels 3-2 a week ago down in Greenville.

Head Coach Mike Fox says every game is of the utmost importance from here on out.

“Every game is the most important one for us. The next one is tomorrow night. They’re all extremely important this time of year. You have to take care of business at home. Every game from here on out is pretty critical for us,” Coach Fox says.

With this urgency in place and an increasing number of balls being delivered to the outfield, the Tar Heels appear to be moving back in a positive direction at just the right time.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/mike-fox-every-game-critical-tar-heels-host-pirates/

Tar Heel Baseball Trumped By Pirates 3-2

The North Carolina baseball team’s ninth inning rally fell short Tuesday night in Greenville as the Tar Heels fell to the East Carolina Pirates 3-2 to drop to 23-18 on the year.

The Tar Heels are developing a dangerous habit. For the sixth game in succession, Carolina has trailed early and been forced to play from behind.

Against ECU, it was a wild pitch by Taylore Cherry that handed the Pirates the opening run in the third inning. In the bottom of the third, the Pirate defense robbed the Tar Heels when Ian Townsend leapt above the outer wall to rob the home run from Korey Dunbar that would have tied the contest.

The Tar Heels did, however, knot it up in the fifth thanks to the longball, as Landon Lassiter drove his first home run of the year out to left field with one out.

But the Pirates jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in the eight inning after picking apart Carolina pitcher Trevor Kelley with some methodical hitting. Those insurance runs proved to be the difference as the Tar Heels failed to come all the way back in a last-ditch effort in the final inning.

It was East Carolina’s first victory over Carolina in five years. Next up for UNC is a home game against No. 30 Liberty Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heel-baseball-trumped-pirates-3-2/

Tar Heels Travel To Pirate Country For Tuesday Tilt

The North Carolina baseball team, 23-17 overall, will be looking to build off a victory over top-ranked Virginia with a solid performance at Lewis Field Tuesday evening in Greenville when the Tar Heels will take on the East Carolina Pirates, who come into the contest with a 24-17 record.

ECU fell to Old Dominion 5-3 Monday night, but have played some capable baseball in 2014, boasting a pair of victories over ACC foes including a 4-2 decision over Pittsburgh and a 7-0 shutout against N.C. State.

Head Coach Mike Fox has been emphasizing the importance of each and every game this time of the year as postseason play draws near. He says he’s hoping his players can juggle the academic stress of final exams with the intense competition on the baseball diamond.

The Carolina offense notched 10 hits Sunday in the triumph in Charlottesville and that’s a welcome development for the unit that’s struggled to find consistency this season.

Following Tuesday’s 6 p.m. tilt with the Pirates, the Tar Heels will return home for a meeting with the in-form Liberty Flames Wednesday at Boshamer Stadium.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/tar-heels-travel-pirate-country-tuesday-tilt/

Ruffin McNeil: ECU at UNC

CHAPEL HILL – Ron Stutts spoke with ECU Head Coach Ruffin McNeil about Saturday’s in-state matchup between North Carolina and East Carolina.

***Listen to the Interview***

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/ruffin-mcneil-ecu-at-unc/

Renner: “Back’s Against The Wall”

CHAPEL HILL – We all know the Tar Heel offense significantly under performed in the second half against Georgia Tech last weekend to drop to 1-2 on the season, but senior signal caller Bryn Renner says the team still has a lot to look forward to this year.

“We still have all of our goals in front of us, but we did put our backs against the wall not performing the way we are capable of for those two games that we lost. We have a long road ahead of us,” Renner says.

Running back Romar Morris made a recent comment that once every one starts to do their job on the field, things will come together. And Renner says he agrees. Eleven players all have to play at a high level consistently to produce winning football.

“All eleven have to do their job-fit on blocks, hit the hole right, hand off the ball. I think it’s a big puzzle, and we need to put all the pieces together and get clicking,” Renner says.

Looking ahead to the home encounter with the Pirates of East Carolina this Saturday, Renner says he knows his team will face a stern test, especially since Coach Ruffin McNeill’s team is coming off a bye week to focus on upsetting the Tar Heels.

“They’re a scary opponent. […] I think it’s going to be a tough test for us. They do have that chip on their shoulder,” Renner says.

Renner says he and his teammates are eager to get out in front of the home crowd in Kenan Stadium and put on a solid performance to wipe the sour taste of the second half in Atlanta out of their mouths.

“We started the game off great against Georgia Tech but didn’t finish it. That’s going to be one of our main points this week. It’s going to help us get back to practice on Tuesday. I think everybody wants to get that bad taste out of their mouth as quick as possible,” Renner says.

And thankfully for Renner and company, the Tar Heels are a different team on home turf.

Under the cozy confines of Kenan Stadium, the Tar Heels boast an impressive 7-1 record under Head Coach Larry Fedora. Carolina will no doubt hope to improve upon that record when the ball gets kicked off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/renner-backs-against-the-wall/