That’s the word North Carolina head baseball coach Mike Fox used to describe his team’s performance in Game 1 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional on Saturday, in which the Tar Heels allowed nine runs to Auburn in the last two innings.
“We obviously felt good with a 5-2 lead with one out in the eighth,” Fox said. “That’s why you play nine innings.”
Up until that point, nearly everything had gone UNC’s way. The Tar Heels came out ready, scoring three runs in the first inning thanks to an RBI double from first-year Aaron Sabato and an RBI single from junior Ashton McGee.
And aside from allowing a two-run home run in the fifth, junior pitcher Tyler Baum was dominant for the Tar Heels. In 6.1 innings, Baum allowed four hits and two earned runs, registering seven strikeouts on 104 pitches.
“I think I just kinda kept them off balance,” Baum said when asked about the key to his success. “I used my curveball pretty well today, so just kinda mixing it up and not letting them really know what’s going to come.”
Baum, who on Monday was taken 66th overall in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, looked in a league of his own.
“It’s been an unbelievable pleasure to coach Tyler Baum, and you can see why,” Fox said. “He saved maybe one of his best outings of his career for the biggest stage.”
When Baum came off the mound in the seventh, the Tar Heels held a 4-2 lead, needing just eight outs from their bullpen to secure the win. Another run in the bottom of the seventh inning gave North Carolina a 5-2 cushion.