Tar Heels And Gamecocks Set To Renew Rivalry
After a dramatic finish to the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional that saw the top-ranked Tar Heels use a pair of late-inning rallies Carolina returns home to host South Carolina in the NCAA Chapel Hill Super Regional beginning Friday at 1 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.
The Tar Heels and Gamecocks have faced off 95 previous times on the diamond with the Tar Heels holding a 60-34-1 edge and will be meeting for the first time since the 2007 NCAA Super Regional in Chapel Hill that UNC claimed 2-1 en route to the College World Series.
The two squads have met 12 times in the postseason with South Carolina owning an 8-4 advantage, including a five-game winning streak from 2002 until the 2007 Super Regional.
Postseason Success Stories
• Carolina owns the most overall wins since the start of the 2006 season and the Tar Heels have elevated their game in postseason play.
• Since 2006 the Tar Heels are tied with South Carolina for the most NCAA Tournament wins.
• Both the Tar Heels and Gamecocks have recorded 45 wins in the last nine postseasons.
Most NCAA Wins Since 2006
45 - North Carolina, South Carolina
33 - Oregon State
News & Notes
• Carolina is 92-61 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and is 29-6 as the host. The Tar Heels are 57-29 in NCAA Touranment action under head coach Mike Fox.
• The Tar Heels were put to the limit in the regional round as FAU nearly knocked off the top overall seed in back-to-back nights but UNC pulled out one of the best games in NCAA Tournament history.
• UNC claimed its 12th regional title and seventh regional crown since the adoption of the regional and super regional rounds in 1999.
• Carolina has won seven straight super regional games after perfect sweeps in 2008, 2009 and 2011. The last time UNC lost a super regional game was to South Carolina in the second game of the 2007 Super Regional.
• The Tar Heels are the top overall seed in the tournament for the first time after earning national seeds in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. The previous high was the No. 2 seed in 2008.
• This weekend's super regional will feature the top two offenses of the regional round as UNC posted a .382 team batting average behind 60 hits in four games and South Carolina was 39-for-113 (.345).
• The trio of Chaz Frank, Landon Lassiter and Cody Stubbs each had nine hits over the weekend, the second-highest total in the country.
• Carolina had 88 men reach safely over the weekend (60 hits, 21 walks, 7 HBPs) over the weekend for an average of 22 runners per game but managed 28 runs on the weekend (7.0 per game). During the regular season the Tar Heels averaged 8.1 runs per game.
• The Tar Heels have already posted the most runs in the BBCOR era for a UNC squad with 518 this season and are only 23 runs shy of the school record of 541 set in 2002.
• The Tar Heel defense committed just one error during the regional round, tied with three other schools (Binghamton, UTSA, Virginia) for the lowest total of the weekend. Only UNC and Virginia advanced to the super regional round after their stellar weekend of defense. Carolina's .993 fielding percentage was tops in the country this past week.
• Entering the tournament Carolina played 31 games against teams in the NCAA Tournament, which tied for the second most of any team in the field.
• Carolina racked up 23 wins against teams in the field during the regular season, the most of any team.
• UNC claimed its sixth ACC Tournament title in school history to grab the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. For the 15th time in the 40 ACC Tournaments the ACC regular season champion won the tournament title.
• Consistency has been the key for the Tar Heels in 2013 as Carolina is the only team in the country not to suffer a losing streak. The last time a UNC team did not lose back-to-back games in a full season was 1953.
• UNC ranks among the top five in the country in both scoring and earned run average and would become the fourth team since 1989 to finish among the top five in both categories.
North Carolina's NCAA Tournament History
• Carolina is making its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance and has posted a 92-61 all-time record in the event.
• The Tar Heels are 29-6 as the host in the NCAA Tournament and had a run of 16 straight wins snapped a year ago against St. John's.
• UNC is 6-1 in advancing to the Super Regional round when hosting a regional and 4-0 in advancing to the College World Series when hosting a Super Regional.
• The Tar Heels have won seven straight Super Regional games.
A 12th Regional Title
• The Tar Heels used a pair of three-run wins to reach the regional final against Florida Atlantic but were knocked off on a three-run home run on Sunday to force a game seven.
• The game seven was the third for the Tar Heels in regional play and came out on the winning side for the first time in three tries after losing in 2000 and 2002 in the regional final.
• The dramatic 12-11 win in 13 innings saw Carolina overcome a 2-run deficit in the ninth and a 3-run deficit in the 12th before winning in walk-off fashion in the 13th.
• The regional crown was the 12th overall for the Tar Heels and seventh since 1999.
Heels Bring The Bats
• Carolina turned in one of its most productive weekends of the year durign the regional round as the Tar Heels hit .382 as a team in the four games of the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional.
• The .382 average was nearly 40 points higher than any other team during regional action and nearly 50 points higher than any weekend series in 2013 for the Tar Heels.
Top 3 Regional Team Averages
.382 - North Carolina
.345 - South Carolina
.340 - Towson
UNC Looking To Drive In Runs
• The Tar Heels put on 88 runners last weekend in their four regional games and accumulated 28 runs, the fourth-most in the tournament.
• Carolina stranded 44 runners over the weekend as they hit .288 with RISP.
• Of the 16 remaining teams in the tournament, the Tar Heels are tied for second with a runners in scoring position average of .318 this season.
• The Tar Heels own the third-highest batting average remaining in the tournament with a .310 mark behind only Vanderbilt (.317) and Virginia (.313).
Offensive Explosion In 2013
• The 2012 season saw the Tar Heels eliminated in the regional round for just the second time since 2006 and as a result the Heels finished below 400 runs scored for the first time since 2005.
• The 2013 season has been an offensive resurgence for the Tar Heels as they have scored more runs than any other UNC team during the BBCOR era.
• The Tar Heels lead the country in runs scored at 518 so far and are 23 runs shy of tying the school record for runs scored in a season set in 2002.
|2012 UNC Offense/Ranks||2013 UNC Offense/Ranks|
Lefty-Heavy Lineup No Problem For Heels
• With five and sometimes six left-handed bats in the Carolina lineup a number of opponents have resorted to throwing left-handed starters against the Tar Heels.
• The Tar Heels are 37-2 this year when a right-handed pitcher starts the game but were 14-6 against left-handers going into the ACC Tournament before winning four straight games in which southpaws started for the opponent.
• Carolina has won nine of its last 12 games in which a left-hander has started the game.
• UNC was 15-7 against left-handers last year and posted a .261 average.
• FAU was the only team to throw a left-hander against the Tar Heels last weekend and UNC went 10-for-26 (.385) in the two games.
• South Carolina is scheduled to start a trio of left-handerd pitchers this weekend.
• UNC is hitting .276 against lefties this year and are paced by freshmen Landon Lassiter (.412) and Skye Bolt (.353).
Roberts Could Miss Time
• Junior catcher Matt Roberts suffered a thumb in Monday's regional final win after taking a foul ball off of his throwing hand and will likely miss some time due to the injury.
• Roberts had turned in a 3-for-10 weekend with a run scored and a double before leaving early in the contest.
• Roberts has appeared in 55 games with 44 starts behind the plate.
• Junior Brian Holberton will likely move behind the plate for the super regional.
Young Bullpen Stepping Up To The Challenge
• Entering the season the Tar Heels had uncertainty at the back end of the bullpen due to the departure of UNC's single season saves leader Michael Morin.
• Freshman Trent Thornton forced his way into the weekend picture with five stellar midweek starts and has emerged as the de facto closer for the Tar Heels.
• Thornton owns the fifth-lowest ERA in the nation at 1.17 and has tied Paul Shuey for the UNC freshman saves record with 8 in 2013.
• Fellow Ardrey Kell graduate Chris McCue has been nearly as dominant for the Tar Heels this season with a 7-1 record and a 2.30 ERA in 26 appearances.
• Freshman Reilly Hovis has emerged as of late allowing only two runs in his last 13.1 innings of work.
Going Up Against Some Of The Best
• Carolina played 30 games prior to the NCAA Tournament against teams that earned a spot in the field of 64, the third-highest total in the tournament.
• The Tar Heels posted an NCAA-best 22 wins against teams in the NCAA Tournament and all eight of their losses in 2013 have come against teams in the tournament.
• UNC finished with the fifth-hardest schedule in the country according to Warren Nolan and the second-hardest of any regional host.