Sept. 9, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Coming off four consecutive trips to the College World Series, the North Carolina baseball program opened fall practice Monday, and as usual the annual autumn workouts will culminate with the Tar Heels’ Fall World Series, which opens Oct. 13 at Boshamer Stadium.
Center fielder Mike Cavasinni and shortstop Ryan Graepel return as the Tar Heels’ senior leaders, and junior Ben Bunting is Carolina’s leading returning hitter after batting .336 and starting all 66 games in left field. Levi Michael hit .290 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI en route to freshman All-America honors a year ago.
On the mound, Carolina returns ace right-handed reliever Colin Bates, who was 4-4 with six saves and a 3.15 ERA in 60 innings. Right-handed starters Matt Harvey, who was 7-2 in 13 starts a year ago, and Patrick Johnson, who was 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA in 23 appearances, including seven starts, are back in the fold. Harvey has been a weekend starter for the Tar Heels in each of the past two seasons.
The Tar Heels welcome one of their largest groups of newcomers in recent memory, which includes four players that were selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft: outfielder Brian Goodwin (Chicago White Sox, 17th round), right-hander Cody Stiles (New York Yankees, 39th round), right-hander Michael Morin (Kansas City Royals, 40th round) and left-hander R.C. Orlan (Los Angeles Dodgers, 44th round).
Following five weeks of team practice, the Diamond Heels’ annual Fall World Series will open Oct. 13 at Boshamer Stadium. Games will be open to the public and admission will be free of charge. The full schedule is as follows:
2009 North Carolina Fall World Series Schedule (all times TBA): Day, Date Game # Tues., Oct. 13 Game 1 Wed., Oct. 14 Game 2 Fri., Oct. 16 Game 3 Sat., Oct. 17 Game 4 Sun., Oct. 18 Game 5 Mon., Oct. 19 Game 6 Tues., Oct. 20 Game 7