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The Daily Tar Heel

Cold bats, defensive woes plague UNC baseball in 4-0 loss to No. 6 Notre Dame

UNC redshirt sophomore starting pitcher Austin Love delivers a pitch during Carolina's 8-1 season-opening victory over James Madison at Boshamer Stadium, Feb. 19, 2021.

Offensive and defensive struggles harmed the North Carolina baseball team on Friday afternoon, as the Tar Heels (20-19, 14-14 ACC) lost 4-0 to No. 6 Notre Dame (22-8, 19-8 ACC), in South Bend. 

What happened?

UNC managed only six hits, left 10 on base, and committed five errors – including four in the bottom of the eighth – while the Irish recorded eight hits, one error, and left seven on base. UNC’s five errors were a season high.

Notre Dame opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a home run and RBI single to take a 2-0 lead. The Irish then put two more on the board in the bottom of the eighth to ice the first game of the weekend.

The Tar Heel batters went on and off at the plate. The team got offensive contributions from six players that recorded a hit, but struggled to convert on scoring opportunities by going 1-14 with runners in scoring position. oftentimes getting on base before being unable to drive in runs. They went 1-14 with runners on base.

Who stood out? 

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Austin Love has had an up-and-down season thus far, but when he’s in the zone, offense is hard to come by for opposing hitters. Such was the case on Friday afternoon, as he struck out six batters and gave up only four hits through six innings. 

This was the eighth time this season Love has pitched at least six innings while recording at least six strikeouts. 

When was it decided?

Notre Dame went into the bottom of the eighth with a 2-0 lead and went to work at the plate. 

Designated hitter Carter Putz hit a single, but an error by UNC pitcher Chris Joyner allowed him to advance to second. That would be the Fighting Irish’s only hit in the inning, but three more errors and a walk allowed the team to score two insurance runs to put the game away. error.

Why does it matter?

The Tar Heels fell to .500 in ACC play with Friday’s loss, and considering the team still has two more games against the No. 6 Fighting Irish, UNC could very easily have a losing conference record when it comes back to Chapel Hill. 

The loss also extends the Tar Heels’ losing streak to three games, marking the third time that has happened this season.

When do they play next?

Game two in South Bend is Saturday at 2 p.m. on the ACC Network Extra. 

@dthsports |

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