CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina A&T’s 10-0 loss to the University of North Carolina Tuesday at Boshamer Stadium had little to do with where and who the Aggies were playing as much as it had to do with the current state of the team.
For head coach Joel Sanchez, it is tough to see his group of talented players, players who started 6-3 in MEAC play, slump collectively.
“We’re not playing well as a team right now,” said Sanchez. “It’s the whole group. We didn’t come out here and compete today. We’ve played at Virginia Tech, we’ve played at N.C. State; so we’ve been in venues like this before. It was nothing new. We didn’t compete.”
Three UNC pitchers combined to pitch a one-hitter against the Aggies (11-22). AJ. Bogucki pitched 6.1 innings of no-hit baseball until Stefan Jordan broke it up by lining a single into right-center field.
“He was pretty much throwing the same stuff all night,” said Sanchez. “It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before. He was beating us with the same stuff. We didn’t make any in-game adjustments.”
The Tar Heels (19-13) got to A&T left-handed starter DarAmani Swift early. Michael Russell led off the first inning with a single before Swift walked Wood Myers. Skye Bolt then took Swift’s 1-1 pitch up the middle for an RBI single as Russell beat Bo McMillan’s throw to the plate. Myers moved to third on the McMillan throw and scored when Tom Zengel hit an RBI sacrifice fly to right to give the Tar Heels a 2-0 lead. It was the first of four sac flies for the Tar Heels Tuesday night.
It seemed Swift had found his way after he got Landon Lassiter to fly out, but back-to-back walks to Jordan Parks and Korey Dunbar ended Swift’s night in the first. RHP Justin Godette came on to retire the final out in the first as he pitched four innings of relief.
UNC’s breakout inning came in the fifth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Dunbar hit a fly ball to left that was dropped. The drop allowed Lassiter and Zengal to score to give the Tar Heels a 5-0 lead. An RBI sac fly by Zach Daly and an RBI double from Russell gave UNC the comfortable 7-0 advantage.
Swift (1-5) took the loss. Bogucki (1-0) picked up the win for UNC. UNC’s Russell went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
“We still have a lot of baseball left,” said Sanchez. “We have to keep showing up, putting the reps in and keep fighting. We have to figure out a way to come out on the winning side of things.”
A&T will try to end its 10-game winning streak over the weekend when it invites Marist to War Memorial Stadium for a three-game set starting with a 1 p.m., Saturday doubleheader. The series concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m.