The Daily Tar Heel

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Tuesday August 9th

Preview: UNC baseball gears up for a Wednesday matchup against South Carolina

<p>UNC sophomore pitcher Will Sandy (41) pitches during a home game at Boshamer Stadium against Appalachian State on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.</p>
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UNC sophomore pitcher Will Sandy (41) pitches during a home game at Boshamer Stadium against Appalachian State on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.

After losing two out of three games against the Virginia Tech Hokies this past weekend, the North Carolina baseball team looks to gain back some momentum against the South Carolina Gamecocks on Wednesday.

The Gamecocks head into the game against the Tar Heels also having lost two of their last three games as well. Their overall record this season is 13-14 as opposed to North Carolina’s 20-8 record. With both teams looking to get back into the win column, the matchup is bound to be close.

In their last game against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels got their bats humming as they pranced to a 10-6 win on Sunday.

North Carolina saw key contributions from players like sophomore third-baseman Mac Horvath and sophomore catcher Eric Grintz. Horvath racked up three runs, including a home run, and two RBIs. Grintz picked up a home run of his own and batted in four runners at the plate.

If the Tar Heels are able to get their offense going, they have shown that it is difficult to stop them. When players like Horvath and Grintz do what they did on Sunday’s game against the Hokies, anything is possible for the Tar Heels.

An area where the Tar Heels could see some more consistency is on the mound. 

In the team’s three-game series against Virginia Tech, North Carolina allowed 25 runs. For comparison, the Tar Heels only gave up 11 runs through their first five games of the season. This type of slump is only natural for any team during a long season in which the competition is always improving, but the Tar Heels will need to step up on the mound if they hope to go on a run.

The Gamecocks have not shown off a lot of batting skill this season as they’ve only scored more than 10 runs twice, but the Tar Heels’ pitchers must still be prepared for anything that may come their way. In a recent 8-6 win against Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks showed some flashes of the team that they can be when playing up to their potential. 

Junior second-baseman Braylen Wimmer led the way for the Gamecocks in the win as he picked up three hits, five RBIs and two home runs. Wimmer is a dangerous batter for the Gamecocks that the Tar Heels must take note of if they hope to keep him off the bases.

If the Tar Heels hope to come out on top against South Carolina on Wednesday, they are going to need to get their offense going right away. Key players like Horvath and Grintz are going to need to stay hot swinging the bat for the Tar Heels, and more young stars like first-year centerfielder Vance Honeycutt will hope to be the difference. 

If North Carolina’s pitchers are able to keep the Gamecocks off the bases and help the batters establish an early lead, the advantage will certainly go to the Tar Heels.

Both North Carolina and South Carolina’s baseball teams are in for a close matchup on Wednesday.

Each team has shown that they are able to win in big ways when they are both playing at a high level, and they hope to show the college baseball world what they’re really made of during their first matchup this season.

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com 

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