North Carolina's Zack Gahagan (Aaron Fitt)


UNC’s Big Bats Back Bukauskas


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Heading into the start of ACC play this weekend, North Carolina was still waiting for its bats to heat up. The Tar Heels had high hopes for their offense heading into the season after talented returnees like Zack Gahagan, Brian Miller, Logan Warmoth and Kyle Datres shined in summer ball and throughout the fall. But UNC ranked just 141st in the nation in batting (.265) and 115th in scoring (5.9 runs per game) heading into Friday’s ACC opener against Virginia. The Tar Heels had certainly flashed some offensive promise during their 10-3 start, but in Friday’s 9-4 win against the Cavaliers, they really looked like the dynamic, deep lineup we expected.

“Honestly I was a little bit surprised tonight just because we haven’t really swung it like we’re capable,” UNC coach Mike Fox said. “But we were talking about it in the locker room, our coaches — we really thought they were locked in today and had some good at-bats against (UVa. lefty Daniel) Lynch. We haven’t seen many lefties, we don’t have many lefty BP throwers, so I thought early on, our lefties are gonna have a tough time with him. But lefties are hitting about .330 off him, so that’s why we kept them in there.”

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