By R.L. Bynum
Needing to build momentum to solidify its NCAA tournament resume, North Carolina’s bats instead went silent with runners on base.
Two Virginia Tech pitchers held the Tar Heels to a season-low five hits, and the Hokies rolled to a 7–0 victory Friday in the three-game ACC weekend series opener at English Field in Blacksburg, Va.
It was the second time UNC (26–16, 9–11 ACC) has been shut out all season and was its fifth consecutive league loss. The Tar Heels, who were last shut out in an ACC game two years ago in a 4–0 loss at Notre Dame, left four runners on base, were 4 of 11 with runners on base, hit into two double plays and struck out 10 times.
Carolina’s previous low run output was in a 9–1 loss at Notre Dame in the second game of an April 2 doubleheader. The Heels had scored at least three runs in every other game.
Virginia Tech starting pitcher right-hander Anthony Arguelles (2–1) was sensational, throwing 7⅓ innings shutout innings and 104 pitches, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out seven.
The only positive from the game was that Carolina finally got some length out of a Friday starter. Junior right-hander Connor Bovair (5–1; top photo) went seven innings, giving up eight hits, five runs and two walks while striking out five.
The Hokies (24–14, 10–10) took the lead on Eddie Eisert’s two-run, one-out double to center field in the second inning after a pair of singles off Bovair. David Bryant, whose single to right scored Eisert, belted a two-run homer to right field with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Hokies added a pair of solo home runs in the ninth inning off reliever Will Sandy — blasts from Brody Donay and Christian Martin.
NOTES — Game 2 of the series is at 2:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3) with a pair of right-handers starting: UNC’s Jake Knapp (3–3, 5.45 ERA) and Virginia Tech ace Drue Hackenberg (4–4, 4.62 ERA). Because of Sunday’s forecast for bad weather, Game 3 will be played at 7 p.m. Saturday (ACC Network). Starters for the finale haven’t been named. … Casey Cook went 1 for 4 to reach base for the 31st consecutive game. … The D1 Baseball NCAA tournament projection released Wednesday lists the Tar Heels among the first five out. … UNC is 81–32–2 all-time against the Hokies, including 31–16 in Blacksburg. … The game lasted 2 hours and 12 minutes.
Virginia Tech 7, UNC 0
|17||Friday||10–8 L||Seton Hall||Home||0–1|
|18||Saturday||11–2 W||Seton Hall||Home||1–1|
|19||Sunday||4–2 W||Seton Hall||Home||2–1|
|24||Friday||6–5 L||No. 15 East Carolina||Greenville||4–2|
|26||Sunday||6–5 L||No. 15 East Carolina||Home||4–3|
|4||Saturday||7–5 W||Stony Brook||Home||8–3|
|5||Sunday||15–4 W||Stony Brook||Home||9–3|
|8||Wed.||15–5 W||Penn State||Home||11–3|
|10||Friday||7–3 L||No. 11 Virginia||Home||11–4,|
|11||Saturday||8–4 L||No. 11 Virginia||Home||11–5,|
|11||Saturday||6–0 W||No. 11 Virginia||Home||12–5,|
|15||Wed.||16–2 W||High Point||Home||14–5|
|17–7 W||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||15–5, |
|21||Tuesday||6–4 W||N.C. A&T||Home||16–5|
|23||Thursday||6–3 W||Duke||Home||17–5, |
|24||Friday||8–5 L||Duke||Home||17–6, |
|25||Saturday||5–3 W||Duke||Home||18–6, |
|28||Tuesday||12–7 L||No. 9 Coastal Carolina||Home||18–7|
|31||Friday||10–8 W||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||19–7, |
|2||Sunday||5–2 W||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||20–7, |
|2||Sunday||9–1 L||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind||20–8, |
|4||Tuesday||5–0 L||South Carolina||Charlotte||20–9|
|6||Thursday||8–1 W||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||21–9, |
|7||Friday||10–6 W||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||22–9, |
|7||Friday||8–4 L||Georgia Tech||Atlanta||22–10, |
|13||Thursday||5–4 L||No. 8 Miami||Home||23–11, |
|9–8 W, |
|No. 8 Miami||Home||24–11, |
|15||Saturday||4–3 L||No. 8 Miami||Home||24–12, |
|Boston College||Home||25–13, |
|22||Saturday||9–4 L||Boston College||Home||25–14, |
|23||Sunday||6–2 L||Boston College||Home||25–15, |
|28||Friday||7–0 L||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||26–16, |
|29||Saturday||12–8 W||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||27–16, |
|29||Saturday||13–7 W||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||28–16, |
|2||Tuesday||6–5 L||No. 11 Campbell||Home||28–17|
|3||Wed.||2–1 W||No. 15 East Carolina||Greenville||29–17|
|11||Thursday||9–8 W||N.C. State||Home||31–17, |
|12||Friday||9–3 W||N.C. State||Home||32–17, |
|13||Saturday||12–2 W||N.C. State||Home||33–17, |
|16||Tuesday||8–6 L||No. 9 Coastal Carolina||Conway, S.C.||33–18|
|18||Thursday||14–7 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–19, |
|19||Friday||5–4 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–20, |
|20||Saturday||3–1 L||No. 3 Clemson||Clemson, S.C.||33–21, |
|23||Tuesday||11–5 W||Georgia Tech||Durham||34–21|
|25||Thursday||10–2 W||No. 11 Virginia||Durham||35–21|
|27||Saturday||10–4 L||Semifinal vs.|
No. 3 Clemson
|Terre Haute Regional|
|2||Friday||5–4 L||Iowa||Terre Haute, Ind.||35–23|
|3||Saturday||5–0 W||Wright State||Terre Haute, Ind.||36–23|
|Iowa||Terre Haute, Ind.||36–24|
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications