UNC is one of the greatest collegiate baseball programs to never win a College World Series.
The Tar Heels have enjoyed plenty of chances, particularly since the turn of the century. Carolina made four straight CWS appearances from 2006-2009, losing to Oregon State in the 2006 and 2007 finals, then re-appeared in 2011, 2013 and 2018.
For whatever reason, UNC can’t seem to close the deal. It’s not for the lack of talent, as the Diamond Heels consistently churn out MLB draft picks.
There’s a bunch of talent coming into Chapel Hill this season, with the hope that influx finally translates into a CWS title.
24 new players will don the baby blue in 2024, giving UNC the nation’s 12th-ranked recruiting class. This also ranks tops in the ACC, ahead of Florida State (18th) and Georgia Tech (19th).
Carolina’s most anticipated recruit is Parks Harber, the University of Georgia recruit who’s expected to take over third base for 2023 MLB Draftee Mac Horvath. The Diamond Heels also bring in, among many others, 2022-2023 NCHSAA Male Athlete of the Year Folger Boaz, Shea Sprague and Parker Haskin from Elon.
One Tar Heel everyone will keep an eye on is Vance Honeycutt, the slick-fielding, speedy, power-hitting center fielder who missed UNC’s final 10 games in 2023 with a lower-back injury. Honeycutt is mocked to go Top 20 in the 2024 MLB Draft.
Is all this talent enough to help Carolina win college baseball’s ultimate prize?