With Chapel Hill covered in ice, the UNC baseball team will be forced to call UCF's Jay Bergman Field home this weekend.
The weekend's series also happens to be a marquee matchup, pitting No. 6 UNC against No. 4 UCLA.
The series between the two elite programs was scheduled to be hosted by UNC, but after an ice storm hit last week, and with temperatures not expected to rise above 22 degrees on Friday, the Tar Heels were rushed to find another venue. The UNC coaching staff contacted UCF and found out that The Berg would be able to bail them out.
"It was probably about three or four days ago when we realized the weather in North Carolina wasn't going top be conducive to playing," UNC head coach Mike Fox said. "That's when we started kind of reaching out to some schools."
The Knights are on the road this weekend, playing in the South Alabama Tournament in Mobile, so the UCF Baseball Complex was empty. UCLA was able to change their flight, and both teams jumped on the opportunity. On Friday, the high in Orlando was 55 degrees, but into the weekend it's predicted to rise into the 70s and 80s.
"We've know [UCF head coach Terry] Rooney from the past when he was an assistant at LSU, we saw that [UCF] was away this weekend and we reached out and called him and of course his first response was 'sure.'"
Classes were also cancelled for the entire UNC student body from Monday to Wednesday.
This is the second season in a row that UNC has been forced to move a series away from Chapel Hill due to inclement weather. Last season, its opening series was scheduled to be played at home against the College of Charleston, but due to snow, they ended up playing in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
On Friday afternoon the two teams played the first game of the three-game set, and UCLA capitalized on six UNC errors to win, 8-4.
After a back and forth first five innings, UCLA took a 6-3 lead in the sixth inning by scoring three times on Carolina mistakes. First on a wild pitch, then on a passed ball and finally on a throwing error.
Bruins starter and 2014 All-Pac 12 pitcher James Kapriellan followed up the top half of the inning with a 1-2-3 frame.
"[That inning] was big, the team had my back the whole game and I was able to do my best to keep them in it the whole game," Kapriellan said. "That's what it's supposed to be like for me as a pitcher."
The Bruins and Tar Heels will also play Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. Admission is free for students.
Colin Bell is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at email@example.com.