Game Day: UNC vs. Coastal Carolina Preview

Tar Heels welcome Chanticleers for midweek matchup

Fresh off Sunday’s 10-9 win at Pittsburgh, North Carolina returns to Boshamer Stadium for a five-game homestand, beginning with Tuesday’s showdown against Coastal Carolina.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the 6 p.m. tilt.

Matchup: UNC (18-15) vs. Coastal Carolina (17-13)

UNC ranks: No. -/-/- (Baseball America, D1Baseball, USA Today Coaches Poll)

Coastal Carolina ranks: No. -/-/- (Baseball America, D1Baseball, USA Today Coaches Poll)

TV: ACC Network

Listen: TuneIn

Live Stats: Click Here

Pitching matchups

RHP Max Alba (2-2, 6.00 ERA) vs. LHP Josh Jarman (1-0, 5.59 ERA)

For the first time since the South Carolina game on April 6, Max Alba will take the mound for the Tar Heels. The redshirt freshman has gone 5 2/3 total innings over his last three starts, with his longest effort being 2 1/3 innings at Florida State on April 3. Thirteen of the 20 earned runs he’s allowed this season have scored via home runs.

Coastal Carolina will counter with Josh Jarman, who will be making his second start of the year. The other came at UT Arlington on April 10, when he was thrust into the rotation after the Chanticleers’ scheduled starter was scratched due to COVID-19 protocols. Jarman went just one inning, allowing three runs on four hits, including two homers. The lefty set season highs for pitches (92) and innings pitched (5) at Louisiana on March 26.

Scouting the Chanticleers

One of college baseball’s winningest programs this century, Coastal Carolina was once again picked to finish first in the East Division in the Sun Belt preseason coaches poll, due in large part to its offensive potential. But while the Chanticleers have posted solid numbers at the plate, they’ve been rather inconsistent in comparison to past Coastal Carolina teams.

Led by center fielder Parker Chavers (.331/.423/.521) – who Baseball America ranks as the No. 122 prospect in the 2021 MLB Draft – the Chanticleers lead the Sun Belt and are tied for 38th nationally with 39 home runs. They also rank second in the conference in walks (142), on-base percentage (.365) and scoring (6.1 runs per game). However, they’re hitting just .250 – which ranks 207th nationally – and have struck out 325 times – which ranks in the bottom 15 of all Division I teams.

On the mound, Coastal Carolina has posted a 4.67 team ERA and ranks in the top 100 nationally in walks allowed per nine innings (tied for 61st, 3.60), strikeout-to-walk ratio (81st, 2.39) and WHIP (97th, 1.41). Although their staff has mostly limited mistakes, the same can’t be said of the Chanticleers’ defense, as they rank 235th nationally in fielding percentage (.959).

Numbers to know

  • UNC leads the all-time series with Coastal Carolina, 44-20.

  • After not homering in 158 at-bats over his first two seasons, redshirt sophomore Caleb Roberts has hit a team-best nine homers in 118 at-bats this season while slashing .305/.444/.602. Those are the most home runs by a Tar Heel through 33 games since Dustin Ackley and Levi Michael each hit 10 in 2009.

  • UNC ranks second in the ACC and is tied for 16th nationally with 45 home runs. Those are the most by a Tar Heel team through 33 games since the 2002 squad hit 58.

  • Starting in left field in place of Angel Zarate – who is likely to miss his seventh straight game due to COVID-19 protocols – sixth-year senior Dallas Tessar has gone 9-for-22 with a home run, three doubles, three walks, six RBIs and nine runs scored. He’s currently riding a seven-game hitting streak, tied for the longest of his career.

  • Redshirt sophomore Danny Serretti is 11-for-26 with eight doubles and a homer over the last six games. He’s logged three three-hit efforts in that span.

  • Junior college transfer Justice Thompson has stolen 13 bases on 14 attempts.

  • Over the last 16 games, UNC’s bullpen has registered a 3.30 ERA in 95 1/3 innings. 

  • Redshirt junior Gage Gillian has recorded a 1.27 ERA and a .61 WHIP in 21 1/3 innings. He’s struck out 21 batters while walking three.

  • Freshman catcher Tomas Frick has thrown out 11 of 22 potential basestealers (50 percent). The only ACC catcher with a higher percentage is Louisville’s Henry Davis, who has thrown out 11 of 21 potential basestealers (52.4).