CARY — Basketball season is starting up and football season is in full swing but the most successful Tar Heel squad for the past three years also took the field this week.
The North Carolina baseball team wrapped up the Fall World Series on Wednesday its preseason intrasquad scrimmage.
And while the stakes were somewhat lower — the losing team has to buy pizza for the Christmas party — the competition was still heated with the series coming down to a final 10-inning game Wednesday.
Aside from pizza the Tar Heels also are looking for potential replacements in their lineup after five of their starting hitters graduated or left the team for the MLB Draft.
While baseball season is still some time away it looks like at least two of those spots are filled.
Mike Cavasinni a redshirt junior" looks to find time in the outfield after he was beset with injuries the past two years.
""Cavi's got to come back"" coach Mike Fox said. Got to get back to starting form.
""You don't face live pitching for two years and you then try to come back"" it takes you a while. He's going to be important for us.""
Another player waiting in the wings for the past few years also finally has his shot. Greg Holt flashed power and placement in the FWS"" going 3-for-5 in the 10-inning final game with a game-high three RBI.
""It's awesome" Holt said of his chance to start in 2009. It's a great feeling to know that I have an opportunity to come in and help our team win. It feels — I've been waiting a long time for this" let's just say that.""
Adding to the importance of Holt's success was that many of his hits came against Adam Warren" UNC's Saturday starter in 2008.
North Carolina batters could be much better than their paltry averages showed (the White team went 13-40" while the Blue team went 6-36) but the Tar Heels have what yet again looks to be the best pitching staff in the nation.
It didn't even matter that these hitters and pitchers face off against one another every day in practice.
""We've got probably the No. 1 pitching staff in the country" Holt said. It really doesn't help seeing them every day" because they're so good. They can just show up one day and the next day change things up.""
The Tar Heels return all of their starters" and some newer faces showed promise — none more than Bryant Gaines. The redshirt sophomore pitched three innings and recorded six strikeouts Wednesday" earning praise from Fox.
""Bryant" he's improved so much. He weighs 218 pounds … I've never had a kid work like he does. When you work hard and want to be good" you start seeing results.
""He's really moved up the chart for us.""
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