No. 1 North Carolina will open its 2013
season on Friday at 3 p.m. with the beginning
game of a three-game series with Big East foe Seton Hall.
The Tar Heels are coming off a 46-16 season
that saw them earn the No. 6 national seed before being upset by St.
John's in the Chapel Hill Regional. The Pirates are coming off of a
34-24 campaign, including a 17-10 record in the Big East.
North Carolina - Seton Hall Series
Friday's meeting will be the 65th between the two clubs as the
Pirates tend to make the trip south to face the Tar Heels early each
Carolina holds a 53-11 advantage in the series.
The last time the clubs met was the second series of the 2011
season when Carolina won two of three from Seton Hall.
The teams have played in 22 of the last 25 seasons, traditionally
in an early season series.
Openers Under Coach Mike Fox
Since Mike Fox took over as the head coach in 1999, North
14-0 in season openers
13-1 in home openers
4 straight home opener wins
Carolina is one of a few schools in the country that returns its
entire weekend rotation that closed out the 2012 season.
The Tar Heel trio of junior Kent Emanuel (8-4), sophomore Benton
Moss (7-2) and junior Hobbs Johnson (7-1) combined for 22 wins a
The 22 returning wins are tied for the second most
returning in the country with Louisville. Florida State returns 25
but sophomore Mike Compton is set to miss the 2013 season due to
injury after winning 12 games in 2012.
North Carolina lost just two pitcher starts from
2012 as the team returns 60 of their 62 starts from last year.
A remarkable 97 percent of pitcher starts
return for the 2013 season.
In addition to the starting rotation of Emanuel,
Moss and Johnson, senior Chris Munnelly made 10 starts in 2012.
Sophomore Chris O'Brien made five starts, while
junior Shane Tyalor made four of his own. Sophomore right-hander Luis
a pair of starts last year.
Moran Set To Anchor Offensive Revival
Junior Colin Moran earned preseason first team
All-America honors from Baseball America prior to the 2013 season and is
expected to be the cornerstone of the Tar Heel offense.
Carolina hit .276 as a team a year ago and
will expect to make strides with six regulars from the lineup returning
Carolina will also lean on a pair of
freshmen who look to make opening day starts in Landon Lassiter and Skye
UNC Duo Named To Golden Spike Award Watch
North Carolina juniors Kent Emanuel and Colin
Moran were named to the initial Golden
Spikes Award Watch List on Thursday, as announced by USA Baseball.
The watch list features 50 of the nation's
top amateur players, and it will be a "rolling" list to ensure that
athletes can play themselves into consideration for the award. The
Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live at MLB Network's studios
for the third year in a row, with a presentation scheduled for July 19.
Moran paced the Tar Heels at the plate a
year ago with a .365 average after earning AllAmerica honors as a
freshman in 2011. Emanuel boasts 17 wins during his first two years on
campus and earned All-America honors as a sophomore.
Following the release of a second,
60-player watch list on Tuesday, May 2, USA Baseball officials will
announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award on
Tuesday, May 28. The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body
consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press
officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select
professional baseball personnel and current USA Baseball staff,
representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.