There is no such thing as an ugly win in baseball, according to UNC Head Coach Scott Forbes. But if there were, he thinks it would be the Tar Heels’ 10-6 win over Queens University.
While the Tar Heels ended Tuesday’s contest on top, the game represented a problem that has been bugging the team for the past few weeks: consistency.
“That’s the golden question of baseball — how to put it all together,” junior Patrick Alvarez said. “I don't know, really. Just trusting. Trusting that the pitchers will pick us up when hitters aren't doing well and vice versa.”
Over the past few weeks, Forbes has toyed around with the batting order to try to maximize UNC’s offensive output. Junior Johnny Castagnozzi is out for the foreseeable future with an injury, so Mac Horvath will be rounding out the infield at third base, and Alvarez will take the left outfield spot.
The most noticeable change to the order is the movement of redshirt first-year Casey Cook and sophomore Vance Honeycutt. Cook moved from six-hole to the leadoff spot, and Honeycutt moved from leadoff to cleanup.
Forbes hopes the change will lead to more RBIs for Honeycutt. Even with his .268 batting average on the lower side of the lineup, the sophomore star has been walked more than anyone else and has chipped in defensively with two SportsCenter Top 10-worthy home run robberies.
“We feel like Vance has been really close," Forbes said. "His batting average is a little misleading. He's really good with runners in scoring position, but he hadn't been up a lot with runners in scoring position in that leadoff spot.”
Since the start of ACC play, Cook is slashing .382/.478/.421 and reached base in all of those games. He hasn't had consecutive hitless games all year.