Friday, May 16, 2008

Bats Wake Up, #1 Canes Rock the #2 Tar Heels

Remember those questions I ruminated on in my last post about Hurricanes baseball? Remember how Miami put up a dreary effort against the North Florida Ospreys, and I was wondering aloud whether this team had the mental toughness or even the interest in making a deep post-season run? I concluded that yes, Virginia, the Canes are for real - it just takes them playing the highest quality opponents to bring out their best.

Sure enough, on Thursday night, the #1 Hurricanes proved me right, and coasted to a 12-2 victory over #2-ranked North Carolina at Mark Light Field. Chris Hernandez earned the victory, bringing his record to a perfect 10-0. Yonder Alonso, meanwhile, makes me sound like a broken record. Let me say it YET again...Yonder Alonso came up huge last night. He hit a grand slam off of UNC's ace Alex White, and elevated his batting average to a preternatural .381. The homer marked his 17th of the season, tops in the ACC. Speaking of the ACC, the Canes clinched the #1 seed for the ACC tournament beginning Wednesday in Jacksonville. The Canes are 23-3 in the conference, and 43-6 overall.

Also worth noting, a rarity in South Florida - a standing-room only crowd for a game. Granted, it was only 3,250 fans, but it was enough to secure that most bizarre of occurrences - a South Florida sellout. You might want to look outside for flying pigs now.

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