When freshman Shell McCain stepped into the on-deck circle for All-America third baseman Colin Moran in the ninth inning Saturday, with North Carolina trailing North Carolina State 3-1, it was clear something was amiss.
Moran, it turns out, had broken the fourth and fifth metacarpals in his right hand during the game, according to a team spokesman. Dr. Don Bynum, who performed highly publicized surgery on UNC point guard Kendall Marshall's wrist last week, will perform surgery on Moran's hand Tuesday, and BA's 2011 Freshman of the Year is expected to be sidelined for three to four weeks. The Tar Heels did not say specifically how Moran suffered the injury.
Like Marshall is to the UNC basketball team, Moran is the baseball team's most indispensable player, the fearsome centerpiece of a lineup that has struggled somewhat to score runs in recent weeks. He leads the team in the three slash categories (.389/.458/.556) as well as RBIs (24), and is tied for the team lead with two homers. McCain, a 5-foot-9 freshman with 11 career at-bats, is the likeliest candidate to fill in for him.
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