Top-25 Baseball Series Set Between Heels And Cards


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – No. 22 North Carolina visits ACC foe No. 12 Louisville for the first time in four years with a three-game, top-25 series on the road this weekend. The series gets underway on Friday at 6 p.m. ET with the Saturday and Sunday games set for 1 p.m. ET. All three games will be televised on ACC Network Extra and can be heard on WCHL 97.9-FM.

This is the Diamond Heels (20-9, 6-6 ACC) first trip to Louisville since 2018, when they lost the first two games of the series before claiming the series finale. Carolina has won four straight games in the series after it swept the Cardinals (21-7, 7-2) in Chapel Hill last season.

UNC leads the all-time series, as the Heels are 8-5 against the Cardinals.

Louisville leads Notre Dame by two games in the ACC Atlantic Division, while North Carolina is tied for third place in the Coastal Division. Both teams are coming off series losses last weekend with UofL dropping two of three at Pittsburgh and the Diamond Heels avoiding a series sweep with a win Sunday over Virginia Tech.

PITCHING MATCHUP

LAST TIME OUT

The Diamond Heels surrendered a season-high 15 runs, yielded 14 hits and fell to South Carolina, 15-2, at Truist Field on Wednesday night. The Gamecocks scored six runs across the first three innings and then tagged two more runs in the fifth to take an 8-0 lead and then added seven runs in the ninth. Johnny Castagnozzi and Danny Serretti each collected two hits and drove in a run. Serretti had an RBI-single and Castagnozzi blasted a solo home runs.

SERRETTI SWINGING

Since ACC play began on March 11, Serretti has raised his batting average by 53 points over the last 16 games. He has hit .373 since the Diamond Heels’ conference opener against Pittsburgh, going 22-of-59 with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs. He is one of only two Diamond Heels along with Angel Zarate (.348) to hit over .300 in the last 16 games.

HONEYCUTT LOOKING FOR 20 SWIPES

Freshman Vance Honeycutt leads the ACC with 19 stolen bases, ranking 11th overall among NCAA Division I players and first among all freshmen. With his next stolen bases, Honeycutt will become just the sixth UNC freshman since 1983 to swipe 20 or more stolen bases in a season and first since 2000. Adam Greenburg (28) and Russ Adams (20) both swiped 20 bases following the turn of the century.

MADEJ TAKING OVER IN LEFT FIELD

Honeycutt has started all 30 games this season in center field and Zarate has been in the starting lineup in one of the corner positions in every game as well. Seven additional players have started in either right or left field in 2022. Reece Holbrook has the most outfield starts outside of Honeycutt and Zarate with seven, but Mikey Madej has started the last three games in left field and has made six starts there this season. He gotten five hits in the last three games in addition to having a three-hit game at Miami (Fla.) on March 25. He has nine hits in 28 at-bats this season after collecting 13 hits in 80 at-bats in the previous two seasons.