DURHAM -- When North Carolina (52-8) head coach Mike Fox was asked about his thought process in choosing freshman Taylore Cherry (1-0) to start the ACC championship game on Sunday, which the Tar Heels won 4-1 against Virginia Tech (38-20), he said, (Cherry) was the only one we had left.
Expecting laughter from the roomful of reporters, he was instead greeted by silence. Fox quickly added, That was supposed to funny.
It wasnt far from the truth, though. North Carolina came into Sunday having survived a 14-inning game on Friday and an 18-inning game the night before, the latter of which ended just 11 hours before the title game would begin.
The Tar Heels' bullpen was stretched thin, and the starter who was supposed to go Sunday (Chris Munnelly) had been used on Saturday night. Or Sunday morning, technically, as Munnellys stint went on past midnight.
And when North Carolina head coach Mike Fox announced that Cherry would get the start, the natural response was: Who?
Cherry, a 6-foot-8,...