NCAA North Carolina Regional
MAINE vs. No. 7 NORTH CAROLINA
Time, site: Friday, 6 p.m., Bryson Field, Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Records: Maine 32-22, North Carolina 45-14
Series, last meeting: UNC leads 5-2, UNC 8-4 on 2/28/10
Top hitters: Maine — 1B Justin Leisenheimer (.327, 8 HR, 25 RBI), 2B Troy Black (.386-0-18, 6 stolen bases), RF Joey Martin (.325-4-44, 17 SB), SS Michael Fransoso (.317-5-32, 17 SB), CF Taylor Lewis (.288-3-27, 20 SB); North Carolina — 3B Colin Moran (.343-9-68), 2B Tommy Coyle (.317-2-33, 17 SB), SS Levi Michael (.313-4-48, 14 SB), 1B Jesse Wierzbicki (.297-7-38), C Jacob Stallings (.276-3-34)
Pitching matchups: Maine — RH Keith Bilodeau (10-2, 2.87, 77); North Carolina — LH Kent Emmanuel (6-1, 2.88, 74)
Outlook: The fourth-seeded Black Bears return to NCAA play believing they can compete with the likes of the Tar Heels, seeded No. 3 in the tourney and ranked No. 7 nationally. UMaine looks to Bilodeau to continue his gritty pitching against a UNC club that is batting .285, averaging 6.9 runs per game, which ranks 17th in Division I. The Heels have drawn 315 walks, third most in the country. The Bears must not only get outstanding pitching, but play mistake-free defense to avoid giving UNC extra outs. In Friday’s 1 p.m. opener, No. 2 seed and 20th-ranked Florida International (40-18-1) faces No. 3 seed and 28th-ranked James Madison (40-17).