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Coach Mike Fox Says Tar Heels Will ‘Go Strap It On And See What Happens’ Versus No. 1 Cavaliers

Following a series win over Wake Forest and a ninth inning rally against Elon, the North Carolina baseball team, 22-15 on the year and an even 9-9 in ACC play, will now face a ‘measuring stick’ series for the program this weekend when facing No. 1 Virginia in Charlottesville.

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“It’s not going to get any easier with them. Virginia has built such a great program. They got great starting pitching. We’re going to have to take advantage of any opportunities they give us. We got to pitch well. Friday night should be an unbelievable game,” Coach Fox says.

That was Carolina Head Coach Mike Fox on the formidable challenge awaiting his Tar Heels Friday night.

With a busy slate of games and final exams right around the corner, the Tar Heels have a ton on their plate. Coach Fox says he hopes his players are ready for the juggling act that’s ahead of them this time of the year, especially with postseason play looming.

“Our kids have a lot on them right now academically. It’s just a tough stretch for them right now until the last day of class. That’s my biggest concern at this point. But we need to be ready. Every game is important for us now,” Coach Fox says.

The Virginia Cavaliers sit at 31-6 on the season and boast a powerful batting lineup along with a threatening bullpen that makes for a lethal combo to opposing teams.

The Tar Heels, meanwhile, have experienced an up-and-down season so far; unusual for a program that is a mainstay at the top of the college game. But Coach Fox says he’s been seeing some positive developments in his team lately.

“Our kids are starting to play a little loose and realize we have to play that way. Some of our kids are really starting to play well. Our bullpen was really good. We have to keep moving forward and try to keep playing well,” Coach Fox says.

Despite Virginia’s dominating season thus far, Coach Fox remains confident in Carolina’s chances. He says the Tar Heels can draw upon their past successes against the Wahoos.

“We’ve been there and done that before – had some success a couple years ago. We’ve got to go up there and play well. Everybody in this league is beatable. We’ll go strap it on and see what happens,” Coach Fox says.

Having their ace Trent Thornton on the mound to lead the proceedings Friday night will certainly give the Tar Heels their best chance at grabbing game one of an ACC series that many across the league and nation will be keeping their eyes on.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/coach-mike-fox-says-tar-heels-will-go-strap-see-happens-versus-1-cavaliers/

Diamond Heels Escape Phoenix With Ninth-Inning Rally

The North Carolina baseball team produced a thrilling rally in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night to defeat Elon 5-4 and improve to 22-15 on the season.

With the loss, the Phoenix fell to 23-14 on the year and dropped their first decision of the season after leading in the eighth inning.

Carolina’s Landon Lassiter served as the hero Wednesday with his bases-loaded single that scored Michael Russell and completed the winning rally.

UNC’s Spencer Trayner retired all six batters he faced to get the win while Elon closer Ryan Pennell recorded just one out in allowing three runs in the ninth.

Carolina returns to Atlantic Coast Conference action this weekend at No. 1 Virginia for a three-game series.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/diamond-heels-escape-phoenix-ninth-inning-rally/

DBAP Duel Postponed, Tar Heels Host Phoenix Wednesday

The Duel at the DBAP between the North Carolina baseball team and N.C. State was postponed due to heavy rains Tuesday night.

The 10,000 fans who purchased tickets have been told to hold on to their tickets for a possible rescheduled makeup game at a date still to be determined.

Next up for the 21-15 Tar Heels is a Wednesday meeting with 23-13 Elon at 6 pm in Boshamer Stadium.

Carolina leads the all-time series 31-9 against Elon and rides a six-game winning streak over the Phoenix into the midweek contest.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/dbap-duel-postponed-tar-heels-host-phoenix-wednesday/

Carolina Collides With NC State In Duel At The DBAP

The North Carolina baseball team will take on N.C. State Tuesday evening in the much anticipated Duel at the DBAP at 7 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham.

Last season, the two programs paired for memorable extra inning affairs in postseason play. Carolina ultimately sent N.C.State home from the College World Series in Omaha last June.

But this year is a different story. Both squads come into the contest with surprisingly mediocre records. The Tar Heels are sitting at 21-15 overall and 9-9 in the ACC while the Wolfpack have a 20-15 mark overall and a 6-12 record in conference play.

But Head Coach Mike Fox says he was encouraged by Carolina’s series victory over WakeForest last weekend.

“We were disappointed we didn’t get the sweep on Sunday, but all in all, it was a good weekend for us. I thought our kids played well all weekend,” Coach Fox says.

Oddly, the Tar Heels and Wolfpack would not have played this season if not for the scheduling of this one-game neutral site event. Coach Fox says the Bulls have been wonderful partners in making the contest a reality.

“The Bulls were very cooperative. We came up with this date. The Bulls got behind it. […] Let’s hope we can play,” Coach Fox says.

The rainy weather in the forecast is casting some doubt on whether the game will even be played, but both teams and the 10,000 fans who have already bought tickets to sold-out Durham Bulls Park, will be keeping their fingers crossed for some baseball under the lights Tuesday night.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-collides-nc-state-duel-dbap/

Pivotal ACC Series For Tar Heels As Demon Deacons Invade Chapel Hill

The No. 29 North Carolina baseball team, 19-14 on the year and 7-8 in conference, faces a tough weekend series challenge starting Friday from Wake Forest, 22-13 overall and 10-5 in ACC play.

The Tar Heels are coming off a disappointing 3-2 loss in extra innings to Coastal Carolina Wednesday while the Demon Deacons fell to UNC-Greensboro 4-2 in a midweek contest.

Sophomore slinger Trent Thornton will be looking to continue his fine form on the mound this season, but Carolina’s bats will likely decide the series. The Tar Heels only managed two runs, both in the first inning, Wednesday against the Chanticleers.

Carolina leads the all-time series with Wake Forest 95-73-1. The Demon Deacons are searching for their first series win in Chapel Hill since 2001.

First pitch for game one is slated for 7 p.m. Friday. Game two on Saturday will commence at 6 p.m. while the series finale gets underway at 1 p.m. Sunday.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/pivotal-acc-series-tar-heels-demon-deacons-invade-chapel-hill/

Diamond Heels Stumble In Extras To Chanticleers

The No. 29 North Carolina baseball team failed to get its offense going Wednesday night en route to a 3-2 loss to Coastal Carolina to fall to 19-14 on the year.

With the win, the Chanticleers improved to 15-19 on the season.

Korey Dunbar’s home run in the first inning produced Carolina’s only two runs of the game. Coastal rallied in the latter innings to pull off the upset win.

UNC pitcher Taylore Cherry recorded five innings of work and only surrendered two hits. Carolina managed to hold a 2-1 edge until the ninth, when Coastal was able to manufacture the tying run to send the contest to extra innings.

Coastal seized the lead in the eleventh when Spencer Trayner’s throw to home plate was a little late. The Tar Heels could not answer the run.

Next up for the Tar Heels is a weekend series beginning on Friday with ACC foe Wake Forest.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/diamond-heels-stumble-extras-chanticleers/

Carolina Knocks Off NC A&T, Meets Coastal Next

The No. 29 North Carolina baseball team hammered North Carolina A&T 10-0 Tuesday evening at Boshamer Stadium to improve to 19-13 on the season.

It was a special night for Carolina’s A.J. Bogucki. In his first career start, the freshman maintained a no-hitter heading into the seventh inning. With the loss, NC A&T fell to 11-22 on the year.

Michael Russell continued to lead the Tar Heel bats, going four for four to carry the Tar Heel offense. Skye Bolt also continued his upward spike in play, tallying two hits of his own.

All in all, it was UNC’s first combined one-hitter since Trent Thornton, Reilly Hovis and Luis Paula recorded the feat last March against Gardner Webb.

Next up for the resurgent Tar Heels is game two of a five-game homestand Wednesday at 6 p.m. This time, Carolina will meet Coastal Carolina.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/carolina-knocks-nc-meets-coastal-next/

Diamond Heels Gear Up For Critical Five-Game Homestand

The No. 29 North Carolina baseball team, 18-13 on the year, opens up a five-game homestand Tuesday evening at Boshamer Stadium. The Diamond Heels will be aiming to build off the momentum of a road series ACC win over Boston College last weekend.

The Diamond Heels are a work in progress this season. But after struggling through a shocking six-game losing streak, UNC has rebounded with wins in three of the last four outings.

Head Coach Mike Fox says he was especially impressed with reliever Reilly Hovis’ ability to recover from his inability to close out the game Saturday and toss a nearly flawless four innings on Sunday to close out the Eagles.

As for the Tar Heel bats, Coach Fox says Michael Russell has emerged as the leader of the Carolina offensive charge this season.

Despite the sluggish start to the year, the Tar Heels are again approaching .500 in the ACC. Coach Fox says his team is full of fighting spirit and he believes this young squad’s best baseball is in front of them.

Carolina will play two midweek games against winnable opponents in NC A&T and Coastal Carolina before welcoming the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to Chapel Hill for a likely pivotal three-game set this weekend.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/diamond-heels-gear-critical-five-game-homestand/

Return To Form: Diamond Heels Grab Road ACC Series Win

The No.30 North Carolina baseball team completed a series victory over Boston College Sunday with a dominating 12-2 win to improve to 18-13 overall and 7-8 in ACC play.

With the loss, the Eagles dropped to 10-20 on the season and 2-13 in conference action.

Freshman pitcher Zac Gallen turned in a solid performance, combining with reliever Reilly Hovis to allow a mere two runs off five hits.

Michael Russell reached base on five occasions and scored three runs while Parks Jordan and Landon Lassiter got in on the offensive explosion with three runs apiece as well.

Next up for the Tar Heels is the opener of a five-game homestand. Carolina will host North Carolina A & T Tuesday at 6 p.m. inside Boshamer Stadium.

FINAL BOX SCORE

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/return-form-diamond-heels-grab-road-acc-series-win/

Diamond Heels Head To Chestnut Hill To Take On Eagles

The No. 30 North Carolina baseball team, 16-12 on the season and 5-7 in conference, will hit the road Friday for the start of an ACC series at Boston College, 9-18 overall and 1-11 in league play.

Carolina is coming off a victory against UNC-Wilmington Tuesday that snapped a rough six-game losing streak. The Eagles have recorded back-to-back home wins against Connecticut and Massachusetts heading into their meeting with the Tar Heels.

The Diamond Heels are 16-1 all-time against the Eagles. Boston College’s sole victory came in Chestnut Hill in 2009 – Carolina’s last visit to Boston College.

Trent Thornton will get the start at the mound on Friday. Thornton owns a 5-1 mark and 2.02 ERA on the season.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s contest will commence at 1:30 p.m. and Sunday’s finale will begin a 1 p.m.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/diamond-heels-head-chestnut-hill-take-eagles/