2009 NCAA Regional Preview: Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill Regional features the host North Carolina Tar Heels as the number 1 seed and the overall number 4 seed. The second seed in the regional is Coastal Carolina who enters as the Big South Conference Tournament Champion. The third seed in the regional is Kansas out of the Big 12 conference. The fourth seed is Dartmouth who won the Ivy League title.

North Carolina (42-16)

The Tar Heels enter the weekend with an overall record of 42-16 and finished as the first place team in the ACC’s Coastal Division. North Carolina finished the ACC Tournament with a 1-2 record as they built Duke 8-3 in the first game but lost to Virginia 11-1 and Clemson 4-3.

The Tar Heels top offensive player is Dustin Ackley who leads the team with a .399 average with 20 homers and 61 RBI. I have spoke to many scouts who state that Ackley is the second best player in college baseball after Stephen Strasburg. The other players to watch for the Tar Heels are Kyle Seager, Mark Fleury, and Levi Michael. Seager is hitting .385 while Fleury has a .310 average and 12 homers. Freshman sensation Levi Michael is currently hitting only at a .293 but has 13 homers on the year.

The Tar Heels pitching staff is led by Alex White who is currently 7-4 with a 4.13 ERA. He has been up and down throughout the year as he is currently on a two game losing streak to Boston College and Virginia. The most consistent pitcher this season for the Tar Heels has been Brian Moran who is 7-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 32 relief appearances.

UNC Stats

Coastal Carolina (46-14)

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers dominated the Big South Conference this season with a 46-14 overall record and going 21-5 in the Big South conference. They also picked up the Big South Conference Tourney title by beating Winthrop.

David Anderson is the top hitter on the squad this season as he is hitting .389 with 20 homers and 79 RBI. Tyler Bortnick is second on the squad with a .374 average while Adam Rice is batting .371 which is good enough for third place on the team. Rico Noel is a pest on the basepaths as he has 46 stolen bases in 49 attempts but is only batting .317. Scott Woodward has had a disappointing season as he is batting .288 which is the lowest on the team for everyday players but has 30 stolen bases in 33 attempts.

Anthony Meo has had an oustanding freshman season to lead the Coastal Carolina pitching staff with a 9-2 record and an ERA of 2.92. Cody Wheeler has also been very good too with a 10-0 record and an ERA of 3.34. Nick McCully leads the staff with eight saves in 27 appearances (6 starts) with an ERA of 1.92.

Coastal Carolina Stats

Kansas (37-22)

Kansas enters the Chapel Hill Regional after getting an at-large berth out of the Big 12 conference. They finished the season with a conference record of 15-12 and went 0-3 in the Big 12 Tournament with losses to Kansas State, Baylor, and Texas.

Tony Thompson leads the Jayhawks in hitting with a .374 average and a team high 19 homers. Brian Heere is second on the squad in batting average coming in with a .363 average.

T.J. Walz is the top starting pitcher for the Jayhawks with a 8-2 record and a 4.18 ERA. He has struck out 86 batters in 79.2 innings pitched. Paul Smyth is the save leader with nine on the year but has a 1-5 record and an ERA of 5.00.

Kansas Stats

Dartmouth (27-16)

The Big Green enter the regional after splitting a doubleheader against Army over the weekend. The Big Green got into the NCAA Tourney after winning 2 out of three games against Cornell to grab the Ivy League’s automatic bid.

They are led on offense by Nick Santomauro who is batting .365 with eight homers and 40 RBI. Ray Allen leads the squad with ten homers and tied for the team lead with 44 RBI.

The Dartmouth staff is led by Kyle Hendricks who went 6-2 with a 4.14 ERA in eleven appearances (ten starts). Robert Young is second on the squad with a 5-3 record and a 4.57 ERA.

Dartmouth Stats

My Prediction
1. UNC
2. Coastal Carolina
3. Kansas
4. Darmouth