Josh Horton carries a 12-game hitting streak into Tuesday's game with Elon.
April 3, 2006
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Coming off a series win over then-No. 1 Florida State, third-ranked North Carolina is back in action this week against a pair of Southern Conference foes at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels (23-6) host Elon Tuesday and Davidson Wednesday. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Phoenix enters Tuesday's game with a 22-10 record already owns win over South Carolina, Auburn and College of Charleston. The Tar Heels own a 21-7 lead in the all-time series but look to get back in the win column against Elon after suffering a 10-3 loss a year ago. The Phoenix is slated to start freshman righty Tom Porter (1-1, 3.65) against Carolina.
After a strong start, Davidson (12-16) has dropped 14 of its last 16 games entering Wednesday's meeting with the Tar Heels. Carolina leads the all-time series with the Wildcats, 78-21, with this game being the 100th in a series dating to 1904. Davidson is scheduled to start junior right-hander Rob Shenk (1-1, 6.08).
NOTING THE WEEK OF MARCH 27-APRIL 2:
Preseason All-America Andrew Miller notched his second straight shutout performance against a top-five opponent Friday with seven scoreless innings against No. 1 Florida State. Miller allowed just four hits and one walk, while striking out nine. Of his four hits allowed, only one made it through the infield, and the Seminoles only hit one ball in the air in over Miller's seven innings, a pop up to second to end the sixth. He gave up just two singles over the first six innings before allowing back-to-back infield singles in the seventh. The win was the 20th of his collegiate career.
Over his last two starts, Miller has allowed no runs on eight hits and two walks over 14 innings, while striking out 23 batters. He has a run of 15 consecutive scoreless innings dating to his March 18 start against Maryland.
Now 6-0 for the second straight season, Miller owns a 1.34 ERA and has 61 strikeouts to just 10 walks in 47 innings. He is holding opponents to a .185 batting average. Miller leads the ACC in strikeouts per nine innings, ranks third in ERA, fourth in wins, third in innings per starts and third in opponent batting average.
Fellow preseason All-America Robert Woodard followed Miller's gem with his second career complete game in Saturday's series-clinching win. He allowed three runs on just seven his and two walks, and his five strikeouts were a season-best. Woodard faced more than four batters in an inning only twice en route to his first win since Feb. 24. He is now 3-1 on the season with a 3.23 ERA. The Charlotte native is now 19-3 in his career and can pick up win No. 20 at Miami next weekend.
Led by the standout performances from Woodard and Miller, Carolina's staff posted a 2.67 ERA in four games last week. The Tar Heels allowed just eight earned runs all week over 27 innings and held opposing batters to just a .212 average. Over their last 10 games, the Tar Heels have allowed more than three runs just twice. Carolina owns a 3.53 staff ERA.
With the series win over No. 1 Florida State, Carolina improved to 9-7 against the nation's top-ranked team under head coach Mike Fox. The Tar Heels have won three of their last four series against No. 1-ranked opponents. UNC has also won its last three home series against the Noles and owns a 7-2 record over this stretch.
Carolina's series win over Florida State, coupled with series losses by Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia, have the Tar Heels within one game of the ACC's Coastal Division lead. The Hurricanes sit a top the standings with an 8-4 record, while UNC checks in at 7-5. The Tar Heels travel to Coral Gables for a three-game set with the Canes beginning Friday.
Sophomore shortstop Josh Horton extended his current hitting streak to 12 games Sunday, matching his season-best streak. He has hit safely in 26 of the 28 games he has played in this season and is second on the team and third in the ACC with a .427 average. Horton hit a team-best .438 on the week and is batting .512 (22-43) over his 12-game hit streak.
After struggling in the series loss at Georgia Tech, first baseman Chad Flack bounced back to hit .400 last week (6-15) with four runs scored, his third home run and a team-best three RBI. Outfielder Seth Williams (.385-0-3) and third baseman Reid Fronk (.357-1-1) also had solid weeks at the plate for the Tar Heels.
Left fielder Jay Cox raised his season average to .433 by hitting at a .500 clip in the Florida State series. He was 4-for-8 but also walked twice and was hit by a pitch twice Sunday. Cox's .433 average ranks second in the in the league.
With three more shutout appearances last week, closer Andrew Carignan ran his scoreless streak to 11.2 innings over nine appearances. He has still allowed just one unearned run all season and is holding opponents to a miniscule .104 average.
Near-capacity crowds filled Boshamer Stadium all weekend long with 2,555 fans attending Friday's series opener with the Seminoles. That announced crowd was the largest at The Bosh since 3,015 filled the stands for the April 13, 2002, game with Clemson.