Game Day: UNC vs. UNCG Preview

Tar Heels start final push with midweek matchup

Coming off a five-day break for final exams, North Carolina returns to action Tuesday, when it hosts UNCG at 7 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the contest.

Matchup: UNC (21-21) vs. UNCG (24-21)

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

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

TV: ACCNX

Listen: TuneIn

Live Stats: Click Here

Pitching matchup

LHP Shawn Rapp (1-1, 5.08 ERA) vs. RHP Jacob Curry (2-2, 4.89 ERA)

After turning in a brilliant first career start against Miami on April 23, Shawn Rapp struggled at Notre Dame on May 1, allowing five runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings. The redshirt freshman will look to get back on track against the Spartans. In eight career appearances against nonconference opponents, he hasn’t allowed a run in 8 1/3 innings.

Jacob Curry will be making his eighth start of the season, but just his second in a midweek game. He also earned the start in UNCG’s 12-3 win at High Point on April 27, when he surrendered two runs on five hits over three innings. This will be Curry’s second time facing the Tar Heels, as the Southeastern Community College transfer gave up two runs on one hit and three walks in 1 1/3 innings in his first career start with the Spartans last season.

Scouting the Spartans

Voted to finish tied for third in the Southern Conference preseason coaches poll, UNCG started off strong, winning 10 of its first 12 games, including a 16-13 victory at N.C. State. The Spartans hit a rough patch in mid-March, dropping 17 of their next 22 games, but they’ve gone 9-2 since then.

UNCG ranks in the top 50 nationally in walks (tied for 27th, 213), stolen bases (tied for 44th, 59) and scoring (47th, 6.9 runs per game). The Spartans are led by redshirt sophomore outfielder Corey Rosier, who is slashing .349/.435/.602 with 10 home runs and 44 RBIs. He’s also stolen 16 bases on 21 attempts. He’s one of two players with an OPS over 1.000, along with redshirt sophomore infielder Hogan Windish, who is slashing .298/.433/.578 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs.

On the mound, UNCG has recorded a 4.96 ERA, a figure that ranks 130th nationally but third in the SoCon. The Spartans have been especially good at keeping the ball in the ballpark, holding opponents to 31 homers, the second fewest among SoCon teams. Righty Brandon Stephens (2-2, 3.16 ERA) and lefty Jack Voigt (2-0, 4.68 ERA) are the team’s most-used relievers with 20 and 23 appearances, respectively.

Numbers to know

  • UNC leads the all-time series with UNCG, 18-6.

  • Ranked No. 47 in the RPI, the Tar Heels have played the country's ninth-hardest schedule, according to WarrenNolan.com. Their 30 games against Quadrant 1 opponents are tied for the second most nationally. They’re 11-19 in those games.

  • UNC is tied for fifth in the ACC and 36th nationally with 53 home runs. Those are the most by a Tar Heel team through 42 games since the 2002 squad hit 71.

  • Sixth-year senior Dallas Tessar is slashing .375/.485/.750 with four homers, nine doubles and 17 runs scored over the last 16 games.

  • Graduate transfer Justice Thompson has stolen 14 bases on 16 attempts this season.

  • Since returning from a seven-game absence due to COVID-19 protocols, redshirt sophomore Angel Zarate is 11-for-27 with a homer, two doubles, five runs scored and nine RBIs in eight games.

  • Redshirt junior Gage Gillian has recorded a 1.29 ERA and a .71 WHIP in 35 innings. He’s struck out 33 batters while walking five and holding opponents to a .164 average.

  • Tomas Frick has thrown out 15 basestealers this season, the most by a UNC freshman catcher since Mike Fox’s first season as head coach in 1999. Chris Iannetta and Tim Federowicz each threw out 14 in 2002 and 2006, respectively.

  • Frick has thrown out 15 of 36 basestealers (41.7%). The only ACC catchers with a higher caught stealing percentage are Louisville’s Henry Davis – who has thrown out 12 of 26 basestealers (46.2%) – and Florida State’s Matheu Nelson – who has thrown out 14 of 27 (51.9%).