#6 North Carolina Baseball 2018 Preview

North Carolina Tar Heels
Overall Rank: #6
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
 North Carolina Logo
North Carolina had a fine 2017 season, but it ended with a couple losses to Davidson in the Chapel Hill Regional. The Tar Heels will get another crack at reaching the College World Series in 2018. UNC boasted one of the best ERAs in the country last season and that should continue. Losing J.B. Bukauskas is significant, but Tyler Baum and Gianluca Daltri are more than ready to pick up the slack. Baum went 7-0 in 15 starts last season with a 2.57 ERA. Dalatri was 7-3 and pitched a team high 97.0 innings.
2017: 49-14, 23-7
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Mike Fox
Key Departed Players:
Logan Warmoth, IF, .336 BA, 10 HR, 49 RBI
Brian Miller, OF, .343 BA, 7 HR, 49 RBI
Tyler Lynn, OF, .313 BA, 7 HR, 41 RBI
J.B. Bukauskas, P, 2.53 ERA, 9-1 W-L, 92.2 IP, 116 SO
Key Returning Players:
Ashton McGee, DH, .327 BA, 7 HR, 46 RBI
Brandon Riley, OF, .317 BA, 7 HR, 52 RBI
Kyle Datres, IF, .265 BA, 7 HR, 51 RBI
Zack Gahagan, IF, .243 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI
Tyler Baum, P, 2.57 ERA, 7-0 W-L, 63.0 IP, 47 SO
Gianluca Dalatri, P, 3.34 ERA, 7-3 W-L, 97.0 IP, 85 SO
North Carolina has some good bats to replace, but there is also plenty of potential in this lineup. Ashton McGee, Brandon Riley, Kyle Datres and Zack Gahagan are all back after hitting seven homeruns each in 2017. Those four also combined to drive in 191 runs. Like many of the hitters on the North Carolina squad last year, Cody Roberts had a bit of a disappointing season. If he lives up to his potential, the junior will help bolster what could be a very dangerous lineup. With so much talent on the pitching staff, all UNC needs is to live up to their potential at the plate. If that happens, this is a team that can compete for an ACC title and make a nice run in the tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament