Matt Clements/Inside Carolina

UNC Baseball Squanders Opportunity

Tar Heels fail to qualify for ACC Tournament.

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina entered Saturday afternoon’s rubber match against N.C. State controlling its own destiny. Win, and you get to play in the ACC Tournament.

One squandered opportunity later, the Diamond Heels' season may be over.

“It’s not nice being in this position ...” said head coach Mike Fox after the game. “But it is what it is and we’ll see what happens.”

The Tar Heels fell to the Wolfpack 10-1 on Senior Day at Doak Field. N.C. State scored in seven different innings, while UNC once again struggled to string together clutch hits. The loss means UNC will miss the ACC Tournament and have to wait to see if it earns a bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“I’d like to say I’m confident in our team no matter what, our RPI, but that’s not up to us to decide,” said junior outfielder Adam Pate. “It sucks, but it is what it is.”

Carolina’s greatest hope for postseason play would be for the selection committee to place a high value on the RPI. The Heels have been among the RPI Top 25 for the majority of the season, and entered the weekend ranked No. 16.

Quality wins will also need to matter for the Diamond Heels. Critical early series wins over UCLA and Oklahoma State have bolstered UNC’s tournament resume, along with victories over South Carolina and Louisville.

All of that good comes with a befuddling ACC season, where the Tar Heels dropped six of eight ACC series and struggled to get consistent hitting from their lineup. It’s the conference struggle that Fox feels will likely keep his team out of national postseason play.

“If we don’t make the ACC Tournament, I don’t think we’re gonna get in,” Fox said hours before UNC was officially eliminated from next week's conference tournament.

“I wouldn’t think our chances are very good.”

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