So it's no wonder that UNC coach Mike Fox wasn't at all pleased with the Tar Heels 3-2 victory at Boshamer Stadium.
"We were very, very lucky to win," Fox said. "We just didn't do many good things, especially offensively. We didn't hit too many balls very hard, we popped the ball up and we scored the third run on a fluke."
With the scored tied 2-2 in the seventh, Tar Heels Brandon Russell and Chad Prosser occupied the corners.
Wildcat pitcher Jeremiah Parvin caught Prosser off first with the often used but rarely successful fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff move. But shortstop D.J. Dailey hesitated during the ensuing rundown, allowing Russell to score.
Technically, Russell stole home. In reality, UNC (10-2) escaped what could have been an embarrassing home defeat.
The Tar Heels mustered only six singles and one double hits against Parvin (0-1). UNC hit into two double plays, were enticed into three infield popups, picked off base twice and caught stealing once.
"We just really didn't show up to play today. We just kind of went through the motions," said Chris Maples, who singled and scored twice. "We kind of overlooked them, I believe."
As far as the Tar Heels are concerned, it's a good thing the UNC pitchers played as they did. Three of them combined to allow just four hits and one earned run.
Dennis Robinson started his first game of the season and collegiate career. He struggled early, walking two of the first three batters he faced, but got out of the first with a pickoff and another runner caught stealing.
From there, he settled down, allowing just an unearned run in the third and a James Marino solo homer in the fourth.
Scott Senatore (2-1) came into the game with a 12.79 ERA and an opponent batting average of .393. After relieving in the fifth, he allowed just one baserunner in
3 1/3 innings, while striking out five and earning his second win of the year.
"It's very important to have confidence out there, and I lacked confidence my first couple starts," Senatore said. "But I think I'm getting it back."
Whitley Benson came on in the eighth and worked the final 1 1/3 for his second save of the year. Although Benson walked two Wildcats (6-3) to get into a bases-loaded, ninth-inning jam, he struck out Tom McGintee with an 0-2 backdoor breaking pitch to end the ball game.
Said Fox, "We didn't do too many things very well other than pitch, which sometimes is all you need."
The Sports Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.