Fanfare: Tar Heels fall to ECU; Duke, UNC men, women in NCAAs
Tar Heels shut out by ECU 1-0; 1st time UNC blanked in 2014
CHAPEL HILL – Reid Love outdueled Taylore Cherry and the East Carolina lefty’s complete-game shutout beat North Carolina 1-0 Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium.
Love allowed just five hits over nine innings and didn’t walk a batter as the Tar Heels were shut out for the first time in 2014. Cherry (0-1) scattered eight hits and allowed just one run in 6.0 solid innings of work.
Neither team could muster much offense on a cool, damp night, and the Pirates (28-18) scored the lone run of the game in the seventh. After Garrett Brooks led off the inning with a single to center, Trevor Kelley replaced Cherry and got a quick out on Hunter Allen’s sacrifice. But Charlie Yorgen’s clean single up the middle scored Brooks and ECU had the lead.
Perhaps Carolina’s best chance came in the first when Michael Russell led off the inning with a single. The safety extended his career-best hitting streak to 18 games, and Parks Jordan’s sacrifice moved him into scoring position with one out. But Russell would get no further, and Love would allow just four more hits the rest of the way.
Kelley pitched out of trouble in both the eighth and ninth as the Tar Heels committed a season-high five errors on the night, none of which led to runs. Love’s masterpiece was the first complete-game shutout against the Tar Heels since Jordan Montgomery of South Carolina in last season’s super regionals.
Russell left the game in the third for precautionary measures related to a sore back, so the six-day exam break is coming at a good time for the Tar Heels, who are also without injured second baseman Wood Myers.
Carolina is back in action on Tuesday, May 6, when the Tar Heels host Campbell at 6 p.m.
Duke women land JuCo PG commit
DURHAM — The Duke women’s basketball team has signed junior college point guard Mercedes Riggs of Lindon, Utah.
Riggs, 5-foot-7, averaged 8.9 points, 5.1 assists and 2.4 steals while starting all 34 games for Salt Lake Community College last season. She was named second-team junior college all-America as well.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Mercedes into our Duke family,” commented McCallie. “Mercedes is a gritty point guard and a tireless worker on and off the court. Her work ethic is so impressive in all ways. She aspires to excellence as a person and a player. She is a super addition to our team.”
McCallie has a 2014 class of five newcomers that includes Lyneé Belton of Clinton, Md., Sierra Calhoun of Brooklyn, N.Y., Erin Mathias of Pittsburgh, Pa., and Azurá Stevens of Raleigh. Before the signing of Riggs, the class was ranked No. 2 nationally by some recruiting sites.
Duke, UNC to host NCAA women
GREENSBORO — The Duke and North Carolina women’s tennis teams will host first and second round matches May 9-10 in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship.
Duke is seeded fourth and UNC seventh. They are among eight ACC teams named to the NCAA field Tuesday night. Also in are No. 3 seed Virginia, No. 12 Miami, No. 13 Clemson as well as Florida State, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.
All the ACC seeded teams will host opening round matches. The other three will travel for their openers.
Duke (24-4) will host East Tennessee State (14-8) in the first round and UNC (24-5) will host VCU (12-9.
Duke, UNC men to host openers
GREENSBORO — No. 7 seed North Carolina and No. 11 seed Duke are among nine ACC teams named to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship field on Tuesday.
Duke (19-6) and UNC (24-5) will host first and second-round matches May 9-11, Duke hosting Winthrop (16-9) in the first round and UNC hosting South Carolina State (9-7).
Also named to the field from the ACC were No. 4 seed Virginia and No. 13 Notre Dame as well as Wake Forest, Florida State, N.C. State, Clemson and Virginia Tech.
First and second-round competition will feature four teams playing a single-elimination format.
Virginia and Notre Dame will also host opening series, the rest of the ACC entries will play on the road.
Duke football posts top grades
DURHAM — Seven Duke football players have been selected for membership in the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame’s Hampshire Honor Society.
Representing the Blue Devil program are Kenny Anunike, Brandon Braxton, Ross Cockrell, Dave Harding, Garett Patterson, Perry Simmons and Juwan Thompson.
Duke’s seven selections tied Boise State for the most of any FBS program. Duke has placed at least four players on the NFF Hampshire Honor Society in three consecutive seasons.
The NFF Hampshire Honor Society is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who maintained a cumulative 3.2 grade point average or better throughout their college careers.
Boutier named ACC player of month
DURHAM — Duke sophomore Celine Boutier has been named the ACC Women’s Golfer of the Month for April.
Boutier posted two victories while leading the Blue Devils to the ACC Championship and a tie for second place at the PING/ASU Invitational. Boutier collected a 69.67 stroke average over the six rounds, including all six rounds under par for the month. Boutier became the first Duke golfer to win three straight tournaments since Amanda Blumenherst accomplished the feat in 2006-07.
Boutier is No. 6 ranking in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and owns an ACC-best 71.78 stroke average.
UNC men’s track ranked No. 25
NEW ORLEANS — The University of North Carolina men’s track and field team is ranked 25th in the nation in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I National Team Compute Rankings.
It is the first time the men’s team has been in the top 25 during the outdoor season since April 27, 2010 when the Tar Heels were ranked 18th.
LT, WR are Panthers' top draft priorities
CHARLOTTE — General manager Dave Gettleman said the Panthers want a left tackle to protect Cam Newton’s blindside and a young wide receiver for the Pro Bowl quarterback to throw to this season.
Gettleman also pointed to cornerback as an area of need as Carolina prepares for the May 8-10 NFL draft in which the Panthers have the 28th pick overall.
But the second-year GM insisted Tuesday in a pre-draft press conference the Panthers won’t stretch to fill any of those needs if the right player isn’t available.
“When you make up your mind to take a position because of need, more often than not you’re going to make a mistake,” Gettleman said.