CHARLESTON, S.C. - CSU returns to the diamond Tuesday afternoon after an offensive outburst to end the 2019 Swig & Swine Classic beating Ball State 12-4 Monday morning. The Bucs struggled to scratch across runs for most of the weekend despite plenty of action on the base paths before scoring eight runs in the first three innings Monday and 12 on 15 hits.
Reid Hardwick and Ryan Stoudemire became the latest Bucs with three-hit games while Hardwick hit his first homer. Shortstop Ryan Rizk and catcher Jack DeLongchamps each had 3 RBI's in the win as Rizk crushed his first home run hitting the scoreboard in left field.
Tuesday marks the first of three matchups with ranked teams for CSU this season and the No. 3/4 Tar Heels of North Carolina are the highest ranked team on this year's regular season slate. The Bucs faced No. 2 Clemson a season ago and No. 4 Clemson and South Carolina two years ago. CSU has also played spoiler in recent seasons having handed Coastal Carolina their final Big South loss in 2016 and taking a 4-1 midweek game at then-No. 4 South Carolina in 2014.
The midweek matchup is also the second of three ACC teams on CSU's schedule this season after falling in both meetings with Notre Dame and a Tuesday matchup in April set with Clemson. The game at North Carolina also marks the fourth-straight game versus a top-five foe when facing a ranked team.
Scouting the Tar Heels
- North Carolina enters the midweek matchup fresh off a three-game sweep of UMass Lowell from Boshamer Stadium and has jumped to No. 3/4 in the latest polls. Their Tar Heels' lone loss came last week 11-8 vs. VCU in a midweek contest.
- The Tar Heels have been a national power under head coach Mike Fox and came into the season ranked inside the top-10 in every major poll. Under Fox's tenure the Tar Heels have made the trip to Omaha seven times making the championship series in back-to-back seasons in 2006 and 2007.
- There has been no shortage of offense for UNC through three weekends as they enter Tuesday hitting .276 as a team with 13 longballs and scoring 91 runs including back-to-back 14-run games vs. the RiverHawks. Ike Freeman paces the offense with a .412 average while Jackson Hesterlee is batting .391, Dylan Harris is hitting .341 and Michael Busch is at .313. Freeman has 15 RBI to lead UNC while Busch has drawn an impressive 17 walks.
- The Tar Heel pitching staff is limiting opponents to just .198 at the dish and 2.93 earned runs per game. Tyler Baum has a 1.42 ERA and 3-0 record across 19.0 innings as each starter has pitched at least 15.0 frames and have sub-3.50 ERA's. Baum also paces the rotation with 28 strikeouts over those 19.0 frames and has walked just four batters with a 7/1 K/BB ratio.
- Tuesday's starter Andrew Grogan will be making his second start of the season and has a 3.38 ERA throwing 5.1 innings thus far. In his time on the hill, Grogan has struck out five but also walked five men and surrendering a home run.