2013 Chapel Hill Regional

(capsules compiled by Sean Ryan, Phil Stanton, Zachary Kerr)


1. North Carolina Tar Heels

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Automatic bid – won ACC Championship

2013 record: 21-7, 53-8 (first in Coastal Division and ACC)

Head coach: Mike Fox (North Carolina, 1978)

Record at school: 687-270-1, 15 years

Overall record: 1,227-411-5, 30 years

Assistant Coaches: Scott Forbes, Scott Jackson, Bryant Gaines

Team offense: .303 BA, 494 R, 46 HR, 81-110 SB

Team pitching: 2.62 ERA, 562.1 IP, 424 H, 222 BB, 490 K

Top hitters: Chaz Frank (.293/1/31/5 3B/20-23 SB), Colin Moran (.361/13/84/56 BB), Landon Lassiter (.352/1/26/70 R), Skye Bolt (.343/6/49/12 2B), Cody Stubbs (.356/7/72/22 2B), Michael Russell (.306/2/31/17-19 SB)

Top pitchers: Kent Emmanuel (10-3, 2.11 ERA, 110.2 IP, 92 H, 22 BB, 79 K), Trent Thornton (9-1, 6 SV, 1.29 ERA, 69.2 IP, 47 H, 12 BB, 60 K), Benton Moss (8-1, 3.56 ERA, 81 IP, 69 H, 30 BB, 84 K), Hobbs Johnson (4-0, 2.14 ERA, 71.1 IP, 52 H, 40 BB, 67 K), Chris Munnelly (6-0, 1 SV, 2.36 ERA, 53.1 IP, 30 H, 25 BB, 58 K)

Last NCAA appearance: 2012 (1-2 in Chapel Hill Regional)

Notes: North Carolina has made the tournament for the 12th straight year and the 28th overall. The Tar Heels reached the College World Series for four consecutive years, from 2006 to 2009, becoming the first ACC team to reach Omaha in four straight seasons. The Tar Heels were stunned by third seed St. John's twice in the Chapel Hill Regional last year. UNC had won its previous 16 home games in regional action. Sophomore Colin Moran is the nephew of former Tar Heel and major leaguer B.J. Surhoff. North Carolina won the ACC regular season title for the first time since 1990. UNC has scored nine or more runs 23 times this season, winning all 23 games. The longest Tar Heels win streak this season was 16, spanning from the team's Feb. 15 start to March 13. The team followed its first loss with win streaks of nine and 14, good for a record of 39-2 through 41 games. UNC is the only team in the country that has not lost consecutive games this season—the ninth such season in team history—but has lost four of its last seven.


2. Florida Atlantic Owls

Notes: Sun Belt four-seed Florida Atlantic enters the Chapel Hill Regional on an 11-game win streak, its longest since a 27-game streak in 2002. The streak includes wins in the conference tournament against five-seed Western Kentucky, one-seed Troy, eight-seed Arkansas State, and three-seed Louisiana-Lafayette. The 16-8 win in the championship game against Louisiana Lafayette featured the most runs Florida Atlantic had scored in more than three years. All top four seeds--South Alabama was the two seed--made the NCAA Tournament. It is the eighth Division I regional for the Owls. Sophomore starter Austin Gomber was the only Owl on the Sun Belt All-Conference First Team. Freshman second baseman Brendon Sanger and senior center fielder Nathan Pittman made the second team. Sanger was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Sun Belt Tournament. Florida Atlantic pitchers ranked 18th in the country in strikeouts per nine innings with eight. Senior closer Hugh Adams holds the Sun Belt record for career saves with 30.


3. Towson Tigers

Notes: The fourth-seed Tigers won the automatic bid from the CAA with a 4-0 record, by beating five-seed Northeastern in the first game of the tournament and upsetting the top seed, UNC-Wilmington, in their second game, and then the second seed, William and Mary, in consecutive games. It was the first CAA Championship for Towson, and could have been cemented as the last if $300,000 in state funding had not prevented the Towson administration from cutting the program. The team received word on March 8 that it would be cut with the men's soccer program following this season, but Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley proposed a budget change that passed in early April to fund the baseball program for two more seasons. Third baseman Zach Fischer was named the MVP of the tournament, in which he hit .476 with a double, three homers, and 10 RBI. Senior ace Mike Volpe won the first and final games of the tournament, beginning with a career high in strikeouts, 11, on 133 pitches in seven innings against Northeastern. On two days of rest, he threw 139 pitches for a complete game in the championship against William and Mary, allowing only two runs. Junior DH Kurt Wertz was one of six Tigers to make All-CAA teams, but the only one on the first team, though catcher Andrew Parker was named CAA Defensive Player of the Year.


4. Canisius Golden Griffins

Notes: The Golden Griffs are making their tourney debut after winning the MAAC tournament title in dramatic fashion. After squandering a big lead, Canisius and Siena entered the bottom of the ninth tied at 11. The Griffs scored the game-winning run when Jose Torralba was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Canisius is 25-9 in road games, second only to Cal State Fullerton in the nation. Coach Mike McRae won his 300th game in March and coached in his 500th game in the regular-season finale. Jimmy Luppens and Brooklyn Foster give the Griffs two top-tier hitters in a lineup that makes contact and walks a lot. On the mound, Canisius boasts a top-line starter in Garret Cortright, who is 11-3 and limits hitters to a .210 average, and a shutdown closer in Jon Fitzsimmons (4-0, 1.19 ERA, 10 saves), who limits hitters to .149.