No. 1 North Carolina hits the road for a three-game conference
series against Virginia
Tech set to begin Friday at 5:30 p.m. Game two is set for 2 p.m.
Saturday and the finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Tar Heels enter the weekend with the nation's longest road
winning streak (12) having won all five contests this season after
closing the 2012 season with seven straight road wins.
Carolina swept a weekend series at Wake Forest to open the ACC
season before claiming midweek victories at UNC Wilmington and Elon
in the last two weeks.
North Carolina - Virginia Tech
Friday's contest will be the 85th
all-time meeting between the Tar Heels and Hokies.
Carolina owns a 59-23-2 edge in the all-time series but has been
nearly unbeatable against Virginia Tech since the Hokise joined the
ACC prior to the 2005 season.
UNC has won all eight ACC series against Virginia Tech since 2005
and own a 20-1 mark during the stretch.
The Tar Heels have won 15 straight against the Hokies dating back
to a 6-3 Virginia Tech win in March of 2007. Carolina has won six
straight in Blacksburg.
Moran On Record-Breaking Pace
Junior Colin Moran currently leads the Tar Heels in both runs
scored and RBIs and would become the 13th player in school history
to accomplish the feat.
Moran is currently on a record-breaking pace for both runs scored
and RBIs entering the weekend.
The Rye, N.Y., native has scored 43 runs, the third most in the
country, and is averaging 1.30 runs per game through 33 games, a
pace that eclipses Dustin Ackley's mark of 1.21 runs per game in his
single season 82-run record year of 2008.
Moran has 47 RBIs on the year, the second most in the nation, and
is averaging 1.42 RBIs per game compared to Marshall Hubbard's 1.30
pace in his 83-RBI 2004 season.
Middle Of The Order Doing Their Job
A key to UNC's success in 2013 has been the production of the
middle of the order for Carolina.
Entering the weekend, Carolina is the only school in
the country with three hitters ranked among the top 20
in the country in RBIs.
All three of UNC's 3-4-5 hitters have eclipsed 39 RBIs
on the year after only two hitters eclipsed the mark for
the entire season a year ago.
The trio of Colin Moran, Skye Bolt and Cody Stubbs
are all hitting above .400 with runners in scoring position and have
combined to go 69-for-159 (.434) and have led to 120 RBIs.
Moran Continues To Reach Base
Junior Colin Moran enters the weekend with the sixthlongest
active reached base streak at 32.
Moran failed to reach in the opener but has been able
to reach base safely in each of the 32 games since.
Teams have been pitching around Moran throughout the season and the
selective hitter has drawn the eighth-most walks in the country at 33,
an average just shy of one per game.
Moran checks in at 21st in the nation with a .509 on base percentage
and all of the times reaching base has led to Moran scoring the
third-most runs in the country.
Moran has scored 43 runs in 33 games, three shy of his single season
career high of 46 set in 2011. He has scored a run in 25 of UNC's 33
games this season.
Starting Pitching Providing Chances To
Entering the season the Tar Heels returned all three starters from
the 2012 rotation and returned the second-most rotation wins in the
The starting pitching has been even better than advertised midway
through the 2013 season as they have combined to go 20-1 with a 1.89 ERA
during their time in games.
Opponents are hitting .198 against Carolina's starting pitchers and
have posted a 176 to 55 strikeout to walk ratio.
Carolina has had its starting pitchers throw 14 quality starts in 33
games this year.
Friday night starter Kent Emanuel enters the weekend with a 6-1
record and the 32nd-lowest ERA in the country at 1.30.
Saturday's starter, Benton Moss, has been nearly as good for the Tar
Heels with a 6-0 record and a 2.18 ERA.
Freshman Trent Thornton has forced his way into the weekend bullpen
after dominating in five midweek starts.
Thornton owns the fifth-lowest ERA in the country at 0.60 and proved
his worth last weekend against Maryland as he earned the save in
Saturday's 5-3 win with a scoreless ninth inning before throwing 4.1
scoreless frames in Sunday's finale to pick up his seventh win of the
year, which is tied for the third most in the country.
Heels Own Best Scoring Margin In The
The Tar Heels enter the weekend with the largest scoring margin in
the country with a +6.4 scoring margin and is one of just three schools
in the country with a +5.0 or better scoring margin, along with Central
Arkansas (5.1) and LSU (5.0).
Carolina is first in the country with an 8.9 scoring average thanks
to 293 runs in 33 games, 0.4 runs per game ahead of Georgia State.
The Tar Heel pitching staff has been just as good so far this spring
with the fewest runs
allowed per game at 2.5 (81 runs), 0.1 runs per game behind Arkansas
(2.4/83 runs in 34
Through the opening 33 games of play a year ago the Tar Heels had
scored 207 runs (6.3 per game) and allowed 125 runs (3.8 per game) for a
+2.5 scoring margin.
The 2012 Tar Heels finished with a scoring margin of +2.5 runs per