The Tar Heels lost eight of last year's 12 pitchers who saw time on the mound, and the four holdovers from the 2000 squad -- Joey Popovich, Jason King, Scott Autrey and Matt Tanner -- only accounted for 15.8 percent of UNC's innings pitched last season.
Those four also contributed just eight of the Tar Heels' 46 victories, seven of which were Autrey's, and had a combined 5.02 ERA, 0.72 points higher than UNC's average a season ago.
It's not a difficult leap in logic to assume that this year's pitching staff is made primarily of freshmen. Nine of the roster's 15 pitchers are rookies.
"We're all young, but we're real good," freshman righty Kevin Brower said.
Of the six pitchers who collected innings during the two-game sweep of James Madison over the weekend, four freshmen pitched 8 2/3 out of the 18 innings.
Scott Senatore, a 5-foot-10 lefty, started Sunday and pitched better in his collegiate debut than his four earned runs in three innings would indicate.
Had it not been for a tough-luck, nine-pitch walk to Steve Ballowe to start the second and Greg Miller's two-run scoring double off the glove of third baseman Chris Maples five batters later, Senatore's luck might have been a little different.
"Hopefully, I can have a better outing next time," Senatore said. "It was a great experience, and I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes and give my team an opportunity to win."
Brower held down the fort long enough for UNC to come back from four runs down by limiting the Dukes to two runs in 3 2/3 innings in his first collegiate appearance.