After a long 2019 season, one North Carolina pitcher finally got to shine.
Redshirt first-year Max Alba got his first start for the Tar Heels on Tuesday in their 8-0 win over North Carolina A&T after recovering from Tommy John surgery last season.
“It’s been a day I’ve been looking forward to for years now,” Alba said. “Heels got the win, too. So it was a good day.”
As the No. 1 right-handed pitching recruit and the fifth-ranked high school player in the state of Wisconsin, Alba was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 39th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. And with the North Carolina pitching staff combining for more than 30 strikeouts in its last series against Dallas Baptist, there was certainly a high standard for Alba to live up to in his first game on the mound.
He gave up a five-pitch walk to the first batter of the game, but induced a double play and a groundout to end the inning. Alba seemed to gain even more of a rhythm in the second inning, forcing a pop fly to centerfield and throwing two strikeouts.