ECU vs. UNC: Who has the edge?

Javier SernaJune 6, 2009 

Pitching

East Carolina's staff was good enough to give its hitters a chance in the Greenville Regional last weekend. But North Carolina's strength the past four or five years has been pitching. That has also given the North Carolina arms more postseason experience. And while North Carolina ace Alex White, a Greenville native, has struggled in recent starts, East Carolina's starters haven't been flawless. North Carolina wins the ERA battle (3.66 vs. 4.36). Advantage: UNC

Hitting

Yes, North Carolina has one of the finest hitters (Dustin Ackley) in all of college baseball. But even with a team batting average of .307 (118th in the nation) the Tar Heels don't come close to the balance East Carolina has in its lineup. The Pirates' team batting average is .341, and several guys coming off the bench are hitting over .300. East Carolina has more power (107 home runs vs. 65) and more speed (76 stolen bases vs. 54). Advantage: ECU

Team defense

Both teams have a .970 fielding percentage, with East Carolina committing two more errors (72) than North Carolina, which has played three fewer games (61). This series won't likely be decided by botched defense. The majority of East Carolina's errors have been committed by the starting shortstop (19) and second baseman (12). For North Carolina, it's the second baseman (15), third baseman (13) and shortstop (11). Either way, it's a toss-up. Advantage: Even

Coaching

While East Carolina has smart coaches who know the game, this is Billy Godwin's first super regional as head coach. North Carolina coach Mike Fox has led the Tar Heels to the College World Series the past three years. Both of these coaches know each other well : Godwin was an assistant under Fox back in 1989 and 1990 at N.C. Wesleyan. Advantage: UNC

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