1962. 56 years. The age of former president Barack Obama. Any way you want to slice it, this is the amount of time it has been since UNC baseball lost its first three home games of a season.
Until now. After dropping a 12-0 final to East Carolina on Sunday, the Tar Heels now sit at 3-5 on the season and 0-3 at home.
While it's easy to look at the team and find some issues early on, I felt like it would be pleasant to go over some interesting stats and intriguing storylines on the team:
Walkup of the Week
P/OF Joey Lancellotti is in the peculiar spot of choosing both a walk-out song for his pitching outings and a walk-up song for his time at the plate. Here’s what Joey had to say about his unique situation:.
“I’m a huge country guy, but some of the guys bust me a little bit for using all these country songs, especially being from Philadelphia. Out of everyone here you’d think I was the least country, but I drive an F-150 with camo seating. All I do is fish. I’m the country guy.
"I use a country song out of the bullpen, but I’m thinking “Buy U a Drank” by T-Pain, hitting wise.”
Stat to Watch
The Tar Heels lost 14 games all of last season — and only 10 at home. It will be intriguing to see how quick they hit that mark this year, considering they didn’t hit loss No. 5 until March 18 in Atlanta last year.
Kyle Datres and Michael Busch were toe-to-toe here, but Datres comes away with the win. Busch’s three-run home run on Tuesday was a mammoth shot, towering into what used to be Ehringhaus fields to give UNC a 3-0 lead early vs. Wilmington. But Datres' shot came in the scenic Durham Bulls Athletic park and landed on the awning of Tobacco Road Sports Cafe. His home run tied the game vs. ECU, paving the path to a Tar Heel victory.
Based sheerly on the surroundings, and the fact his homer tied the game, we’re going to give Kyle this week’s Legendary Longball.
Luca Dalatri had a strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) ratio of 4.64 (79/17) last season, similar to his 4.33 (13/3) so far this season. The difference is the amount of hits allowed.
Last season, he surrendered 85 hits in 90 innings, but this season he's allowed 17 in just nine innings. Dalatri also averaged six innings per start in 2017, but that's at 4.5 so far this season. This will be a trend to watch, as UNC will need Luca to be on for UNC to make a deep tournament run.
A look back at the week
Two weekday losses spiraled into UNC's first regular-season series loss since Long Beach State took two out of three from the Tar Heels back on March 3-5 of last year. Their 1-4 record this week shows they need to improve before ACC play.
While it is early, and the coaching staff wants to get some of the newcomers acclimated to college baseball, the veterans are not performing. It’s hard to play from behind in baseball, and the Tar Heels have been doing that consistently. They’ll go where the pitchers can take them, and that all begins with the starting pitchers giving them valuable innings early in ball games.
Hats off to...
Tyler Baum. With a win Saturday, the sophomore has pushed his career record to 9-0 in 17 starts across his first two seasons at UNC.
Header photo by Caleb Jones