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Sports

Meet the 5 baseball teams from North Carolina playing in the NCAA Tournament

ECU's Jacob Jenkins-Cowart takes a swing at a pitch during a game on May 28, 2022 for the Pirates.
Pete Wright
/
East Carolina Athletics
ECU's Jacob Jenkins-Cowart takes a swing at a pitch during a game on May 28, 2022 for the Pirates.

When the NCAA college baseball tournament begins on Friday, the state of North Carolina will be heavily represented.

Two of the NCAA's 16 regional sites will be in the Tar Heel State, with UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina both hosting first round games this weekend. The only other states with two regional sites in this year’s tournament are Texas and Florida.

In all, five college baseball teams from North Carolina will be playing in the tournament. Joining the Tar Heels of UNC and the Pirates of ECU are Campbell, Wake Forest and UNC-Greensboro. Only New York and Texas have more teams in the tournament.

Here’s everything you need to know about the North Carolina teams vying for a bid to the College World Series.

North Carolina Tar Heels

  • Seed: 10th overall; No. 1 in Chapel Hill Regional
  • Coach: Scott Forbes (2nd season)
  • Top Hitter: Danny Serretti (.370 batting average, 85 hits, 45 RBI)
  • Top Pitcher: Davis Palermo (2.49 ERA, 64 strikeouts, five saves)
  • Fast Facts: Behind a pair of home runs from freshman Vance Honeycutt, UNC won the ACC Tournament last week down in Charlotte. The Heels are making their fifth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and 34th overall. Carolina has never before played against its first-round opponent, Hofstra.
  • They Said It: “Obviously, we are feeling pretty good but we don't want to ride the highs too high and ride the lows too low. Just going to keep our heads forward, keep working hard and see what happens.” – sophomore pitcher Max Carlson after winning the ACC Championship
  • First Game: vs. Hofstra on Friday at 2 p.m. EST (ESPN+)

East Carolina Pirates

  • Seed: 8th overall; No. 1 in Greenville Regional
  • Coach: Cliff Godwin (8th season)
  • Top Hitter: Lane Hoover (.354 batting average, 80 hits, 34 walks)
  • Top Pitcher: Carter Spivey (2.42 ERA, 68 strikeouts, seven wins)
  • Fast Facts: This is the fifth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance for the Pirates, and their fourth consecutive season hosting a regional. ECU went 7-4 in the regular season against teams that made the NCAA tournament. The Pirates are riding an 18-game winning streak into the postseason, which is currently the longest in the nation.
  • They Said It: “When it first showed on TV, no one really knew what to think. Everybody kind of looked around for a second. Then we started celebrating. Not surprised with the work we’ve put in, but surprised when it popped up on TV. It was an awesome feeling.” – senior outfielder Bryson Worrell on getting a top eight seed
  • First Game: vs. Coppin State on Friday at 1 p.m. EST (ESPN+)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

  • Seed: No. 2 in College Park, Maryland
  • Coach: Tom Walter (13th season)
  • Top Hitter: Brendan Tinsman (.349 batting average, 23 home runs, 65 RBI)
  • Top Pitcher: Rhett Lowder (2.61 ERA, 98 strikeouts, 11 wins)
  • Fast Facts: Wake Forest is playing in its first NCAA baseball tournament since 2017. The Deacs went 14-12-1 against this past regular season against teams selected for the tournament. This season is the seventh time in program history that Wake has won at least 40 games.
  • They Said It: “I am incredibly proud of this team. They have worked hard to come together and are playing their best baseball when it matters most. We have a tough challenge ahead of us, but I can’t wait to be back on the diamond.” – Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter
  • First Game: vs. UConn on Friday at 1 p.m. EST (ESPNU)

Campbell Camels

  • Seed: No. 3 in Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Coach: Justin Haire (8th season)
  • Top Hitter: Zach Neto (.398 batting average, 74 hits, 15 home runs)
  • Top Pitcher: Thomas Harrington (2.21 ERA, 109 strikeouts, 11 wins)
  • Fast Fact: Campbell is playing in its sixth NCAA baseball tournament, and its fourth since 2018. The Camels have never advanced to a Super Regional. To change that this season, they’ll need to beat out Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Alabama A&M this weekend. Campbell won 40 games this season, its most wins since 2014.
  • They Said It: “It means a lot, but without my teammates, or the performance that our pitchers threw this week and what our hitters did – I don’t think I would be here without them. So, the MVP is everybody on this team.” – Zach Neto on winning Big South Tournament MVP
  • First Game: vs. Georgia Tech on Friday at noon EST (ESPN+)

UNCG Spartans

  • Seed: No. 4 in Statesboro, Georgia
  • Coach: Billy Godwin (3rd season)
  • Top Hitter: Hogan Windish (.380 batting average, 79 hits, 16 home runs)
  • Top Pitcher: Alex Hoppe (2.91 ERA, 82 strikeouts, eight wins)
  • Fast Fact: The Spartans are going to the NCAA baseball tournament for just the fourth time ever, and the first time since 2017. UNCG was the No. 4 seed in the SoCon baseball tournament and upset No. 1 Wofford to win the conference championship. UNCG freshman outfielder Kennedy Jones set a program record for most RBI in a single season with 73.
  • They Said It: "It's unbelievable. They are a resilient group. I told them earlier that I've had better teams, but I've never had a team that I'm more proud of how they battled and grinded." – UNCG head coach Billy Godwin
  • First Game: vs. Georgia Southern on Friday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPN+)
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