With game one of the Chapel Hill Super Regional postponed, the top-ranked North Carolina baseball team was given both an extra day of rest and an opportunity to reassess its pitching rotation against South Carolina.
In a press conference Thursday, coach Mike Fox announced that pitcher Hobbs Johnson, who started Sunday and threw four pitches of relief Monday, would be UNC’s game one starter.
After inclement weather moved the first game of the series to Saturday at noon, the Tar Heels adjusted their rotation to make junior Kent Emanuel the first pitcher any Gamecock sees on the mound this weekend.
Emanuel has been the regular Friday starter for UNC, but a larger-than-usual workload in UNC’s Regional provoked announcers and analysts to criticize coaches Fox and Scott Forbes, who have reputations for protecting arms.
The first team All-ACC pitcher, who started Saturday and threw 124 pitches in more than seven innings of work, was brought in as a reliever in the eighth inning Monday and threw 51 pitches on just a day of rest.