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January 25, 2013North Carolina baseball opened preseason practice with its annual media day on Friday. Click below for video interviews:
Tar Heels sitting atop the preseason polls
Baseball America: No. 1 - "With one of the nation's deepest rosters, North Carolina is insured against injury and underperformance. This group is hungry to put last year's stunning home regional loss to St. John's behind it, and return to Omaha for the sixth time in the last eight years."
Perfect Game: No. 1 - "The most impressive aspect of this team is the pitching staff. The Tar Heels have a terrific weekend rotation including Benton Moss, Kent Emanuel and Hobbs Johnson. They also have yet another stellar bullpen with Chris McCue, Tate Parrish, Chris O'Brien, Shane Taylor, Mason McCullough and Luis Paula back for another campaign, along with Chris Munnelly, who will serve as midweek starter and spot reliever during the weekend."
Although not the top spot, UNC is picked No. 4 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason poll and No. 2 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper preseason poll.
Tar Heels picked to win Coastal Division
Although rival N.C. State was picked as the favorite to win the ACC in 2013, North Carolina was picked to repeat as the Coastal Division champion. The Tar Heels received nine of the possible 12 first-place votes while totaling 69 total points (six points for each first-place vote, five for each second-place vote, etc). The Tar Heels were followed in the overall Coastal Division voting by Georgia Tech (55), while Virginia (50) placed third and Miami (39) fourth. Virginia Tech (27) placed fifth, followed by Duke (12).
Individual Preseason Awards
Junior left-handed pitcher Kent Emanuel was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Preseason All-America Second Team.
Juniors Kent Emanuel and Colin Moran were named Louisville Slugger Preseason All-Americas.
Junior third baseman Colin Moran was named to Perfect Game's Preseason All-America Second Team.