The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday May 28th


Diamond Heels reflect dwindling diversity in collegiate baseball

It’s not where UNC recruits from, but how they recruit, that makes a world of difference. Matt Andrews, a UNC history professor whose research specializes in sports and American culture, said baseball is a “suburban sport." In the past decade, 35 percent of the UNC baseball players recruited in-state have come from the Charlotte metropolitan area. The Greensboro-High Point area is the second-most popular in-state hotbed, and the Raleigh area follows in third.

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Redshirt junior right fielder Angel Zarate (40) removes his helmet as he walks off the field. UNC lost 3-4 against Arkansas at home in the NCAA Super Regionals on Sunday, June 12, 2022.

'They fought until the end': UNC baseball comes up short in Super Regional loss to Arkansas

In early February, UNC was picked to finish ninth in the ACC's preseason poll. However, in its first 20 games, North Carolina ripped off 18 wins and climbed up to No. 13 in the nation. In a short time, the Diamond Heels found themselves two wins shy from the NCAA Men's College World Series after scampering their way out of the loser's bracket in the regional round. "I wouldn't replace this year for the world," first-year center fielder Vance Honeycutt said after Sunday's loss. "I'm very thankful."

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Sophomore designated hitter Alberto Osuna (23) hangs his head as he walks back to the dugout after striking out during UNC's NCAA Super Regional against Arkansas at Boshamer Stadium on Saturday, June 11, 2022.

No. 10 seed UNC baseball drops first game of Chapel Hill Super Regional, 4-1, to Arkansas

In the first bout of a three-game series, the No. 10 seed North Carolina baseball team fell to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 4-1, Saturday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium. Arkansas first-year first baseman Payton Stoval’s leadoff bomb in the top of the fifth inning ignited a three-run frame for Arkansas and left the Diamond Heels rattled for the remainder of the game. Over the game’s final four innings, the Razorbacks would add one insurance run while holding North Carolina to just one run. 

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Following a 4-3 loss to VCU on Saturday, UNC baseball pulled off three back-to-back victories to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals next weekend.

Senior left fielder Mikey Madej's eight RBIs carry Diamond Heels to NCAA Super Regionals

In UNC’s regional winner-take-all matchup against VCU on Monday night, UNC senior Mikey Madej's three-run homer in the first inning propelled the Tar Heels to a four-run lead. North Carolina went on to beat VCU 7-3 to win the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional. While this home run was certainly the highlight of Madej’s weekend, the senior’s more silent contributions in UNC’s trek through the regional loser’s bracket deserve equal recognition. 

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Sophomore catcher Tomas Frick (52) slides in safe to second base for a double during UNC's NCAA Regional against VCU at Boshamer Stadium on June 6, 2022.

UNC baseball advances to NCAA Super Regionals after 7-3 victory over VCU

The No. 1 seed UNC baseball team beat No. 3 seed VCU, 7-3, on Monday night to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals.  After senior Mikey Madej’s three-run homer in the first inning brought UNC out to a 4-0 lead, the momentum was clearly with the Tar Heels.  Despite some offensive action later on, the Rams were unable to overcome this early deficit, and lost by four runs in the end.

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