Tar Heels Wrap Up Homestand With St. John’s
• No. 1 North Carolina will close out a season-opening seven-game homestand on Wednesday when the Tar Heels host St. John’s at 3 p.m.
• The meeting will be the first between the squads since the Red Storm knocked the Tar Heels out of the NCAA Tournament a year ago when they captured the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.
North Carolina-St. John’s Series History
• Wednesday’s meeting will be the 16th between the two clubs in a very competitive all-time series.
• Carolina holds a narrow 8-7 advantage in the series.
• The clubs met three times a year ago with Carolina claiming an 8-4 win early in the season before being knocked off by St. John’s 5-4 and 9-5 in the regional.
• Wednesday’s meeting will mark the fourth consecutive year that the Tar Heels and Red Storm will meet during the regular season.
Early Season Success
• Carolina has racked up the wins early in the season throughout the years and especially under head coach Mike Fox.
• Since Fox took over prior to the 1999 season the Tar Heels are 106-14 before March 1.
• The Tar Heels have been even better at home during the stretch posting a .923 winning percentage (84-7) at home before March 1 since 1999.
Consensus No. 1 Ranking
• With the release of the Coaches Poll this week the Tar Heels became the consensus No. 1 team in the country.
• Carolina was ranked No. 1 to open the season by Baseball America and Perfect Game.
• Collegiate Baseball moved the Tar Heels from No. 2 to No. 1 after the opening weekend and the Coaches Poll released its second rankings this week and pegged the Tar Heels No. 1.
Thornton Earns First Career Start
• Freshman right-hander Trent Thornton will get the ball for the Tar Heels on Wednesday.
• The start will be the first for the talented young freshman who has made a pair of appearances this season.
• The Charlotte, N.C., native surrendered a solo home run to the first batter he faced as a Tar Heel but has responded by retiring the last six batters he has faced.
Bolt Off To Hot Start
• Freshman outfielder Skye Bolt entered Carolina as one of the top prospects in the country and the Woodstock, Ga., native has lived up to the reputation through the opening weeks.
• Bolt is leading the Tar Heels with the bat so far with a .545/.773/.593 slash line through the first two series. Bolt also leads the ACC in batting average with his .545 clip.
• The freshman outfielder owns a team-high 5 doubles, including three in the come from behind win over Stony Brook on Sunday.
• Bolt has also driven in seven runs so far, which is tied for the team lead with Chaz Frank.
Even Distribution Throughout The Lineup
• Eight different Tar Heels have tallied at least three RBIs this season and four have six or more through the opening six games of the year.
• There have also been eight Tar Heels with at least four runs scored through six games.
• Junior Colin Moran is tied for third on the team with six RBIs but has been getting on base and leads the team with 10 runs scored.
• Carolina is one of a few schools in the country that returns its entire weekend rotation that closed out the 2012 season.
• The Tar Heel trio of junior Kent Emanuel (8-4), sophomore Benton Moss (7-2) and junior Hobbs Johnson (7-1) combined for 22 wins a year ago.
• The 22 returning wins are tied for the second most returning in the country with Louisville. Florida State returns 25 but sophomore Mike Compton is set to miss the 2013 season due to injury after winning 12 games in 2012.
Most Starting Rotation Wins Returning in 2013
1. Florida State 25
T2. North Carolina 22
T2. Louisville 22
T4. Cal State Bakersfield 20
T4. Georgia Tech 20
T4. Saint Louis 20
(courtesy of Saint Louis University)
Johnson Misses Start
• One of the returning rotation members missed his scheduled start this past weekend as a precaution.
• Junior left-hander Hobbs Johnson left his start against Coastal Carolina after four and a third innings of work due to forearm tightness.
• Johnson had been battling occasional tightness in the preseason but is expected to miss only one or two starts as a result.
• A decision has yet to be made on Johnson’s availability for Astros Foundation College Classic this weekend.
Munnelly Gets The Call
• Senior right-hander Chris Munnelly made the spot start for the Tar Heels on Sunday going four and two thirds.
• The start was the 33rd of Munnelly’s career after starting eight games a freshman, 14 as a sophomore and 10 a year ago.
• The Winston-Salem, N.C., native made an appearance out of the bullpen against Coastal Carolina and delivered a 1-2-3 inning with a punch out.
Emanuel Continues Dominance
• Junior left-hander Kent Emanuel did something no other Tar Heel had ever done in the opener against Seton Hall when he became the first pitcher in UNC history to throw a shutout in the season opener.
• Emanuel held Seton Hall in check all night long as he surrendered just four singles and struck out five batters over his nine innings of work.
• The Pirates managed just one runner past second base in the contest as Emanuel recorded his second career shutout.
• The shutout was the first thrown by a Carolina pitcher since Emanuel closed the door on Texas in the 2011 College World Series.
• Emanuel continued his dominance with a seven inning two-run performance against Stony Brook on Friday to improve to 2-0.
• Emanuel lowered his career ERA to 2.03, the fifth-lowest mark in school history.
• The Woodstock, Ga., native eclipsed the 200 strikeout mark for his career on Friday when he struck out eight.
Tar Heels Boast A Deep Pitching Staff
• North Carolina lost just two pitcher starts from 2012 as the team returns 60 of their 62 starts from last year.
• A remarkable 97 percent of pitcher starts return for the 2013 season.
• In addition to the starting rotation of Emanuel, Moss and Johnson, senior Chris Munnelly made 10 starts in 2012.
• The Tar Heel pitching staff displayed their dominance in the opening weekend by surrendering just three runs on the weekend.
• The Tar Heel starters have gone 37.1 innings this season and allowed seven runs but just five earned runs an ERA of 1.21.