The North Carolina baseball team (23-17, 8-13 ACC) squared off against the Virginia Cavaliers (30-10, 12-8 ACC) for the third and final game of their weekend series. The Tar Heels fell to the Cavaliers by a final score of 10-3.
The Cavaliers struck hard and early in the first two innings, picking up a 7-0 lead. The Tar Heels were able to get on the board in the third inning, but Virginia maintained its lead with another run to make the score 8-1.
Coming off of back-to-back losses against Virginia, North Carolina needed to win Sunday’s game in order to avoid a series sweep. Unfortunately, the Tar Heel batters and pitchers could not put together a strong enough performance to come out with a win.
Who stood out?
There was not much about the Tar Heels’ performance on Sunday that they would hope to replicate in future games, but there were a couple of bright spots.
Sophomore infielder Mac Horvath picked up two runs for the Tar Heels, one of which was a home run in the third inning to get North Carolina on the board. Senior second baseman Mikey Madej helped out on the second run, batting in Horvath in the sixth inning.
Junior shortstop Danny Serretti also made his mark in history for the Tar Heels as he hit his 49th career double, which is tied for the tenth-most all-time in North Carolina’s baseball program.
When was it decided?
The game was decided early on as Virginia took a massive seven-run lead in the first two innings and held onto it until the sixth inning. North Carolina’s batters struggled to solve Virginia’s strong pitching performance throughout the game.
The Cavaliers’ excellent performance from the mound was led by sophomore pitcher Jake Berry, who pitched five innings and struck out six. The Tar Heels inserted six different pitchers throughout the game, but none of them could find solid enough footing to keep Virginia off the board early in the game.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels have continued to struggle during the month of April, now having lost eight of their last 10 games. If the Tar Heels hope to get back on their feet and back in the win column, they are going to have to see improvement from their pitching staff.
North Carolina’s offense is capable of being potent when it is firing on all cylinders, but not even humming bats can always win games. The Tar Heels must do a better job of keeping their opponents off of the basepaths if they hope to compete against the top teams in the ACC like Miami, Virginia Tech and Virginia.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will look to rebound from their latest loss as they prepare to face off against the Liberty Flames on Tuesday, April 26th.
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