Matt Clements/Inside Carolina

UNC's Tyler Ramirez Breaks Out of Home Run Drought

Tyler Ramirez's home run against East Carolina was long overdue.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Fifteen games. Thirty one days. One hundred and forty innings.

For North Carolina baseball's struggling offense, that span since Tyler Ramirez’s last home run felt like an eternity.

“It’s definitely been on my mind, and I knew I hadn’t hit a home run in a while,” said Ramirez after UNC's 9-1 victory over East Carolina Tuesday night. “So it’s just kind of good to get the weight off my back.”

Ramirez smacked his eighth homer of the year, a solo shot, to increase the Tar Heels’ lead to 3-0 over the Pirates in the 5th inning. The dinger was the first time since April 10th against Virginia Tech that the junior slugger left the Bosh.

When asked if the drought had worried him, head coach Mike Fox let out a sigh of relief.

“Lord have mercy, yes,” said Fox. “Yes, yes, yes, yes.”

A full month between home runs for a power hitter like Ramirez can take its toll on a player, and Ramirez knew he needed to break through.

“He was kind of feeling it, too. That’s the hard part,” said Fox. “You know, you hit six or seven over, and then you’ve gone a month (without one).”

Ramirez downplayed the importance of his individual performance, but did admit that he needed the confidence of seeing a ball sail over the outfield wall again.

“If I hit a home run, I hit a home run. If I don’t and we still win, that’s great,” said Ramirez. “It’s definitely a confidence booster going into this last part of the season.”

And the Diamond Heels need every bit of that confidence as they sit on the NCAA Tournament and ACC Tournament bubbles with seven games remaining in the regular season.

UNC (31-17, 10-14 ACC) goes back to work Wednesday night at UNC-Wilmington before hosting Notre Dame in a pivotal ACC series at Boshamer Stadium this weekend.

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