And left-hander Daniel Moore answered the call, turning in the best pitching performance of the young season for the Tar Heels.
Moore put seven bagels on the scoreboard and picked up his first collegiate victory as UNC shut out William & Mary
8-0 at a damp Boshamer Stadium.
"It's a big relief, you come out after three other guys have gotten wins and the team's counting on you to give them a quality start," Moore said. "And to be able to do that feels really good."
Moore (1-0) yielded a base hit in each of the first three innings but picked two of the runners off first base. He got good location on his curveball and changeup and cruised through the William & Mary (4-1) lineup without giving up another hit in his seven innings of work.
"Daniel was pretty good today," Fox said. "I was real proud of him. He was a little shaky early, but you expect that from freshmen. You just hope they get through that first inning. He was able to do that and then he really settled in."
Moore didn't allow another baserunner until he surrendered a walk to Tribe shortstop Brendan Harris in the seventh inning. Harris took second base on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a pop out to center.
But Moore turned first baseman Tim Jones into his fourth strikeout victim of the day to retire the side and preserve the shut out.
Freshmen Bo Dickerson and Whitley Benson worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings to close out the ballgame.
Another fresh face in the UNC dugout sparked the Tar Heels (4-0) on offense.
Right fielder Ralph Roberts, a junior transfer from Lenoir Community College, went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Roberts blooped a single to right leading off the bottom of the third inning and crossed home plate with UNC's first run on a single to right by Chad Prosser. The Tar Heels pushed two more runs across in that frame to grab a 3-0 advantage.
Roberts launched a Whitt Farr offering far over the fence in right-center field for a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth. It marked Roberts' first homer as a Tar Heel after hitting 27 long balls in two seasons at Lenoir.
"I just got a good pitch to hit and went with it," Roberts said. "It was a fastball on the outside corner. It was early in the count, and I knew that he had to throw something that I'd like."
The Roberts round-tripper put UNC ahead 5-0 and started what would become a five-run, 11-batter rally. The Tar Heels loaded the bases, and Sean Farrell promptly cleared them with a three-run double down the left field line.
That chased Farr (2-1), the Tribe's starter, after 3 2/3 innings and left him with an ugly line score that included eight earned runs on nine hits.
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