Baseball Notebook

Inside Carolina's weekly feature on the Tar Heel baseball team, including an exclusive Q&A with head coach Mike Fox ...

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Week In Review: The Tar Heels began the 2008 season in Boca Raton, Fla. with a three-game series over the weekend against Florida Atlantic. After coasting to a win on Friday, UNC completed the sweep in dramatic fashion, with come from behind victories on Saturday and Sunday.
Feb. 22: vs. Florida Atlantic – W, 7-1
Feb. 23: vs. Florida Atlantic – W, 14-13
Feb. 24: vs. Florida Atlantic - W, 8-7

Play of the Week: Seth Williams' diving catch in the 8th inning Sunday to allow the Tar Heels to beat the 3 p.m. travel curfew and enable the game to reach the ninth inning. UNC scored four runs in the top of the 9th and freshman pitcher Nate Stritz earned the first save of his career.

Batter of the Week: Sophomore Dustin Ackley and senior Seth Williams both are worthy of this honor, as they both hit three home runs over the weekend. Ackley wore out the Owls' pitching staff, batting .714, while Williams took the team lead with eight RBI.

Pitcher of the Week: Alex White allowed no earned runs in five-plus innings, striking out six, in Friday night's season opener.

Interesting Note: Kendric Burney, the starting cornerback for the gridiron Tar Heels, had his first start of the season at designated hitter on Sunday against a left handed pitcher for the Owls, and the speedster earned two walks.

Looking Ahead: The Tar Heels host Old Dominion Tuesday in Cary at the USA Baseball Complex, then head to Rock Hill, S.C. on Thursday for the Winthrop Tournament through Sunday.
Feb. 26 - Old Dominion - 3:30 p.m.
Feb. 28 – WT: Winthrop - 5:00 p.m.
Feb. 29 – WT: Kent State - 12:30 p.m.
Mar. 1 – WT: St. John's - 4:30 p.m.
Mar. 2 – WT: TBA – TBA


What were the highlights of the weekend series with Florida Atlantic?
"It was a really great way to open the season. Obviously, the warm weather was nice and Florida Atlantic I thought was a really, really good team that played very well against us. We did what we needed to, they were really some exciting games, we got some great pitching from Alex in the first game and not such a good start in the second one, but we were able to overcome it. We just kind of willed ourselves in the last one, we got fortunate at the very end to be able to play the ninth inning with the three o'clock deadline that we set to catch our flight, we just got under there to start the ninth inning. College baseball is a crazy game and you are never out of it, especially with an aluminum bat and kids that believe they can win. It was a great three games for us and a good way to start."

Do you have an update on Garret Gore's hamstring injury?
"Garret Gore is day-to-day for us right now. He has a hamstring strain and is getting treatment today, I don't think there is any way for him to play tomorrow and he might be doubtful for the weekend as well."

Your freshmen came in and gave some quality relief pitching this weekend. What were your thoughts on their performance?
"That was really encouraging, we ended the game yesterday with three freshman out there, the last three pitchers we threw, Coach Forbes and I were very pleased, we have said all along that we like our young arms and we needed to get them out there and pitch in a college game and get their feet wet. I thought they all did very well."

Do you have the rotation set up for Tuesday and the upcoming tournament in Rock Hill, South Carolina?
"Matt Harvey will throw tomorrow against Old Dominion, we are discussing how we are going to go this weekend with a Thursday through Sunday event. Coach Forbes is not back yet, he actually stayed there last night and I will discuss this later on this afternoon."

What do you think went wrong in Adam Warren's first start?
"Adam just did not get off to a good start throwing strikes, I think he walked the first batter on four pitches and could not get it back on track. A lot of it was his command, like any pitcher if you don't have good control and command against a team that can swing it good you are going to be in trouble. It was a hitter's park and he just could not get on track. It was obviously unusual for Adam, it was his first start -- we have a lot of confidence in him. He very well may throw Thursday, we will try and get him back out there as soon as we can."

How impressed were you with Seth Williams' batting this weekend?
"Seth started off hot, especially the first two games, the ball was really flying out of that ballpark -- a couple of home runs Seth hit would have flown out of anywhere…We just have to stay with our guys to still be a gap-to-gap hitting team, it is just one of those things where Seth has just really improved as a hitter and I think he is going to have a great senior season for us."

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