Diamond Heels Open Weekend Series with ECU


Second year Johnny Castagnozzi made a career-high four runs in the Tar Heels’ 5-1 win over Elon on Tuesday night … Castagnozzi doubled up the wall to tackle two runs in the fourth, then hit a home run on the board from edge to left field in drive to drive in another pair of runs…He leads the team in hits (9), doubles (3) and is tied for second in total bases (15 ) and RBIS (5)…Catagnoozi recorded multiple hits in each of the first four games after recording just three multi-hit games in 42 contests last season…Only Tar Heel this millennium to collect multiple hits in each of the first four games… His nine hits are the most by a Tar Heel player in the first four games since Levi Michael had nine hits in the first four games of the 2011 campaign.

Junior outfielder Angel Zarate reached safely in his first four appearances this season… Hit the first round late in the first inning on Opening Day, doubled down the middle on Saturday against Seton Hall, got hit by the pitch to start the Sunday’s series finale and started with a single against Elon…Zarate has reached baseball in 27 straight games since last season…He hit safely in 24 of those games, including the first four of this season… He earned a walk over UCLA (6/6), Louisville (5/15) and Charlotte (4/27) to keep the streak alive… The streak began April 4, 2021 at Florida State… He hit No. 1 in 16 consecutive games dating back to Game 1 (5/14) of Louisville’s series last season… Zarate beat No. 1 a total of 34 times last season… Carolina has a 24-14 record when he hit first the last two seasons.

The Tar Heels bullpen has been exceptional in its first four games of the season, recording a 0.49 ERA (1 ER in 18.1 IP), averaging 0.179 opponents with 27 strikeouts and just four walks … Three Carolina relievers combined for nine strikeouts in the final four innings of Tuesday’s game against Elon, holding the Phoenix scoreless and allowing just two hits … A Tar Heel reliever picked up the win in each of the last three games: Connor Bovaire was the winning pitcher against Elon, while Davis Palermo and Shawn Rapp had wins in the last two games of the Seton Hall series…Rapp appeared in three games with seven strikeouts in 4.2 innings…He didn’t allow a run and gave up only ‘one hit…He struck out three of the five batters he faced in the Seton Hall series finale…He was brought into the game in the fourth inning with two out and the tying run at home plate and hit it looking… Bovair pitched three innings Tuesday against Elon and fanned seven of 11 batters faced and didn’t allow the ball to leave the infield. He made his Carolina debut two days earlier against Seton Hall, induced two ground balls, and recorded his first out of the season in one inning.

UNC has scored 45 total runs in its first four, the most since scoring 47 in 2012… Carolina didn’t score its 40th inning of the 2021 season until Game 10 of the year… The Tar Heels scored 40 total points in the series against Seton Hall, the most they’ve scored in a series since 2017 at Boston College (48)… It was also the most points the Diamonds have scored. Heels have scored in their first three games since 2003 when they scored 43 total points (19 vs. Delaware State, 18 vs. Seton Hall, 6 vs. Seton Hall)

Junior Danny Seretti started 111 consecutive games at shortstop and made 125 consecutive starts overall; his first game as a starting shortstop was against UNCG on April 9, 2019…Before that, he had made 27 starts at second base… Tomas Frick made 47 straight starts, including 25 straight at receiver … His streak was snapped after 21 straight starts behind the plate when he started in DH at Pittsburgh (4/18/21) after catching both ends of a double program the day before.

Friday marks the fifth of 14 straight games to start the season with nine of those games scheduled for a first pitch at 4 p.m. The Tar Heels are expected to play 36 more games this season under the sun this season.

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