UNC knows it has the talent to make it back to the NCAA Tournament because they compete with teams that make it every year.
“If you looked around those regionals, we probably beat a majority of those teams,” junior shortstop Logan Warmoth said, pointing out blowout wins over ECU and a close loss against national champion Coastal Carolina as evidence of UNC’s strength.
But, UNC is not going to let last year affect them.
“You’ve just to move on, be in the present,” Warmoth said. “Not five months, six months ago, but in the present.”
One problem that hurt UNC’s playoff chances was its play on Sunday games in the ACC, where the Tar Heels went 2-8 on the final day of the weekend.
“Sundays make or break you,” Fox said. “Sundays can put you in a regional. Sundays can host you a regional.”
Fox pointed out that Sunday games could serve as an exclamation point with a sweep, or as the rubber match for a series victory, or as a chance to avoid a sweep.
In each case, UNC needs to find the consistency to finish weekends, which Fox knows is easier said than done.
“You can go one way or the other and we had couple of Sundays where we went the wrong way,” Fox said. “That ultimately sealed our fate.”
Fox hopes first-year Luca Dalatri will be able to help with the team’s Sunday problem, as he was announced as the team’s third starter for the series against Kentucky.
“He throws strikes,” Fox said.
He noted that Dalatri’s stamina and poise will serve him well. Dalatri won’t overpower hitters, but he has four good pitches and will force teams to put the ball in play.
In the batter’s box, Miller has been impressed with first-years Michael Busch and Brandon Martorano.
“They’ve both got some power and a lot of bat control,” Miller said. “They’ll be good additions to the offense and the defense.”