The North Carolina baseball team beat Virginia Tech 9-1 in game one of a weekend series on Thursday afternoon. Here are three positive and three negative takeaways from the team’s victory:
Positives of the win:
Brandon Martorano: UNC’s sophomore catcher went 3-4 on Thursday, accounting for five of the Tar Heels nine runs. From the plate, Martorano singled up the middle to bring in the first run of the game, hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to double the score to 4-0, then singled up the middle to bring home North Carolina’s last run of the game. In eight consecutive starts, Martorano has had nine hits. He also has hit .300 during that stretch and has been a big part of the team's success as of late. With one more win, the team will clinch the Coastal Division.
Cooper Criswell: A big part of the win was due to the work of the junior pitcher from the mound. In seven innings, Criswell struck out six and allowed no walks. While he gave up eight hits, he passed the ball onto Brett Daniels in the eighth without giving up any runs.
Fielding: Behind Criswell was solid play from the defense. In three instances throughout the game, fielders worked out of a jam with the bases loaded. In the second inning, the team forced a line drive to second base to keep the Hokies scoreless. In the fourth inning, Criswell gave up a double to center field, but junior center fielder Brandon Riley relayed it to sophomore shortstop Ike Freeman to throw out a runner at home. In the ninth, the team closed out the game with the bases loaded again. For the game, the Tar Heels stranded nine Virginia Tech runners and allowed one run on 10 hits.