Freshman Levi Michael Starts In North Carolina’s Season Opener
(With the end of the year fast approaching, we’re counting down some of the top moments from the 2009 college baseball season (in no particular order). We’ll have one a day through New Year’s Eve.)
Levi Michael was far from the first freshman to start in a college baseball season opener, but he wasn’t just any freshman. The Welcome, N.C. native was a three-year starter at North Davidson High School, but the only reason he wasn’t a four-year starter is because he graduated in December 2008 so he could enroll at North Carolina for the 2009 spring semester.
Did I mention UNC had a preseason #1 ranking and coming off its third straight trip to the College World Series? (No pressure at all.)
Michael started from day one though. He batted second in the Tar Heel line-up on Feb. 20 vs. VMI, and his job was to set the table for All-American Dustin Ackley. (Again, no pressure.) The freshman phenom came though in flying colors though. Michael went 1-for-3 with a walk and HBP, scoring three runs to help the Tar Heels down the Keydets 13-3.
For the series Michael finished 2-for-7 at the plate with 4 runs and an RBI. He proved to be versatile by not
only batting in different parts of the order (including clean-up) by also playing 3B, 2B and SS, while helping head coach Mike Fox and North Carolina to their fourth straight College World Series appearance (a nice consolation for missing senior prom).
The 5’10 switch hitter was not surprisingly named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by batting .290 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles, 4 triples, 54 runs scored, 57 RBIs, and a .954 OPS. He started all but one of North Carolina’s games in 2009.
So what are the expectations for Michael at UNC in 2010 after Ackley’s graduation? (No pressure…)
Other Top Moments Of 2009