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UNC Blows Five Run Lead; Loses To Miami

If you were looking for a baseball version of Harold Arcineaux, he showed up today for Miami in the Hurricanes 7-5 win over UNC. His name is Zeke DeVoss and he pretty much did anything he wanted reaching five times, stealing three bases and driving in three runs. He also played stellar defense at second base for the balance of the day. It was amazing to watch one player do so much damage but there it was.

That being said, UNC did a fair mount of discharging firearms in the direction of the collective feet. Missed opportunities abounded from leaving the bases loaded to having two runners picked off second on a botched bunt attempt. Still UNC staked a 5-0 lead and Greg Holt appeared to be in control of the game in the sixth inning. Then the wheels came off one by one. Holt gave up a run and Mike Fox got antsy. He pulled Holt and started a parade of pitchers from the Tar Heel bullpen who ultimately surrendered the rest of the lead while the Miami pitching shut the door on the UNC bats.

Now the Heels face a tough road. With Patrick Johnson going versus Wake Forest, it is probably as safe an assumption as you can make that the Heels will take care of the Deacs at 7:00 PM on Friday. Assuming UNC can win that game they face Virginia to try and get to 2-1 in pool play. At that point we will see where the chips fall. Based on some tiebreaking scenarios I read earlier today it does not look rosy for UNC. At this point the Heels are playing to “make a good showing” in hopes of getting a national seed. Going 1-2 or 0-3 should Johnson’s start go poorly and UNC loses to Virginia probably won’t help that cause much.

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13 comments to UNC Blows Five Run Lead; Loses To Miami

  • chapelhillfan

    Gut punch. What’d I say about Foc and his pitching staff?

  • Santiago

    Tough loss (understatement), but I don’t know if I’d blame Fox (or Forbes) for getting antsy. Holt had been a bullpen guy this season (this was his first start since early May of 2010) so his pitch count was well above his normal workload of late. Also, if you followed the ‘Heels this season, you’re familiar with the their strategy of pulling pitchers early and often (Jimmy John’s has really gotten a good deal with their radio advertising since their name is mentioned every time there’s a pitching change). Not saying it’s good or bad, but it has been SOP all season.

    I’d chalk the loss up to poor base running (or bad bunting) and the fact that when the ball was hit down the line it went foul for the ‘Heels but fair for the ‘Canes. Of course, maybe it was because Miami was wearing GaTech t-shirts under their unies.

    So, let me see if I have this straight. The only way the ‘Heels will play on Sunday is if (1) Carolina wins out, and (2) Miami loses out. Right?

  • nativeheel

    In past years when we reached the CWS, the bullpen was the weak link that cost us game after game. I seem to remember some cat named Moran who blew two games in a row by giving up gopher balls. Maybe Mike Fox should instruct his starters to be ready to go the full game unless they reach an excessive pitch count. Otherwise our post-season may be a very brief one.
    Go Heels!!

  • Point taken on Holt but sometimes I watch Fox make pitching changes and think “I wonder had he left X in perhaps he would have ended the inning” I know Fox is also playing percentages and brings in pitchers based on whether it is a left handed or right handed batter. Still, it seems like he is a bit too trigger happy with changes sometimes. Of course DeVoss killed UNC all day both at the plate and at 2nd base. The execution on those two bunt plays was horrid. That killed two rallies in short order.

    Yes, UNC has to get to 2-1 but not be in a three way tie with UVa and Miami at 2-1. If that happens UVa moves on by virtue of regular season winning percentage. Here is hoping UVa wins today and Wake Forest pulls the upset on Saturday while UNC finds a way to beat the best pitcher in the ACC for a second time in eight days.

  • Santiago

    More examples of bad luck (fielding as opposed to hitting) were the dropped foul tip by Stallings and the 3-RBI hit by DeVoss that went over Bunting’s head in center. Making either play would’ve ended the inning and kept the ‘Canes from posting 4 runs in the 6th.

    I thought they broke ties in ACCT pool play based on head-to-head record in the event, unless there were three 2-1 teams and a rock/paper/scissors scenario-which I think is theoretically possible-and then I don’t know what they’d do (probably decide based on who’s in which football division… ). So, Miami needs to lose 2 or they’d own the tie-breaker over UNC. And, UNC has to beat Wake and UVa to improve to 2-1 (and have the tie-breaking win over UVa from pool play). Yes or no?

    Of course, UNC historically under performs in the ACCT, so I’m pessimistically assuming they’ll go 1-2, or God forbid 0-3 this week. Personally, and based on things like the sweep to State and the 9th inning collapse in Atlanta, I’ve always thought the ‘Heels would host the NCAA first weekend and then play somewhere else assuming they could advance to the round of 16. So, I won’t be surprised if they aren’t a national seed no matter what happens in Durham.

  • If there are three teams at 2-1 my understanding is they use regular season wining percentage followed by seed. I think head to head only matters if it is between two teams.

    UNC has only made one ACC final since 1990 and that was 2007. They went to the CWS four straight years but only won the ACC Tournament once in that span.

  • Andy In Omaha

    Fox has been running his parade of pitchers long before this. Any time I’ve seen him at the CWS, he’s constantly running out to the mound to pull a pticher the moment they let someone get on base.
    The only time I can’t remember him being so ridiculous with his pitchers was the 2006 season; I know he had some horses on the mound that year with Miller and co., but he seemed a lot more patient in trying to let the pitchers work through a jam rather than yank them at the first sign of trouble. He may think he’s being smart, but I’m willing to bet hes wrecked the confidence of quite a few pitchers that came through Chapel Hill.

  • qcheel

    So who does UNC wanna see win? UVA or Miami?


  • Santiago

    Breaking ties with regular season winning percentage? Really? Why not just scrap the whole event and let the two best teams (or football division winners!) play a 3-game series for the title.

    Of course you’re more than welcome to second-guess a coach after a loss, Andy.* Couple things though. I’d say Mike Fox has accomplished enough (albeit not necessarily in Ohaha) that he gets the BOTD with his personnel decisions. Further, there are a few Carolina alums doing okay pitching in the big leagues.

    *Just don’t let Roy Williams catch you doing it. ;-)

  • Andy In Omaha

    Don’t get me wrong, you’ll never hear me argue that Mike Fox hasn’t made Carolina baseball relevant since the days of BJ Surhoff, and I’m more than happy that I’ve had the chance to cheer on my home team here in Cornholer land.
    The thing that irked me about watching the Heels come to Omaha, especially in the last two appearances, is that Fox managed so tightly in those games it showed in the team’s play. The batters were so timid by the time they got to Omaha it was bordering on pathetic. The difference in the teams that beat Carolina is that they were jumping all over any good pitch they could get, while our batters were trying their hardest to look like they were managing the game like an MLB team…..you can’t do that in college baseball. Teams get to Omaha and win here by playing loose and like they have nothing to lose. Every team that wins here plays aggressively….and UNC played like they were scared to lose instead of trying to win.

  • Heel To The End

    Above in the THF Twitter feed:
    So help me out. If UNC is up 5-0 on Wake after six innings why is that not an official game?

    see title of this thread.

  • qcheel

    You ACC requires you to have complete games in the ACC tourney. They will finish that game sometime today and then play UVA later tonight. That is a lot of baseball to jam into one and they are calling for more rain later..


    Don’t count on Wake coming back. They looked totally disinterested last night. They are playing for nothing.

  • qcheel

    btw, Wake Forest beating Miami looks highly unlikely. They got nothing.