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UNC Baseball headed for summer ball

Another sign of normalcy: college summer leagues are back, and UNC will be well-represented

Cape Cod Baseball League Photo by Simon M Bruty/AnyChance Productions/Getty Images

On the huge list of things we missed thanks to the Pandemic of 2020, summer baseball probably didn’t end up at the top for many people. That said, the normal summer ritual of college players moving out of their dorms and headed to host houses in order to play with wooden bats on small fields along the coast of Massachusetts and all across the southeast was a huge loss. Players lost a year of development in front of scouts, and the missed the reps that come with playing in the grind of a daily league.

So it was with a sigh of relief that UNC announced on Tuesday that several of the members of the Diamond Heels were headed for summer leagues. There’s a new wrinkle to this, however.

As part of the radical minor league restructuring earlier this season, Major League Baseball kicked out over forty teams from their major league affiliation. The restructure also comes with a significantly smaller baseball draft, with the goal mostly being about cutting the number of actual minor leaguers and allowing teams to have their affiliates be in close proximity to the parent club. Sort of. As with anything in baseball, there’s usually an ulterior motive behind the spin, but we’ll slip past that and point out where it’s important in this case. Some leagues are using the opportunity to form their own collegiate summer league, and MLB is going to have its own league that will start play in the summer. The upshot is that there are a lot more opportunities for players to continue to play over the offseason.

So, if you see some cities in this list that make you think “wait, I thought that was a minor league city,” now you know. Your favorite Tar Heel wasn’t drafted early, they are just playing in one of these new wood bat leagues. Considering the lack of...anything...last year, the prospect of cheap family entertainment in these ares should get these new leagues off to a good start.

With college baseball still going, some of these leagues haven’t quite started while others have gotten under way. As we’ve done in the past, we’ll have a weekly update of all the Tar Heels playing summer ball. All the leagues mentioned will have started except for the Cape Cod League, which begins on Sunday, so starting next Wednesday you can catch up to see how your favorite Diamond Heels are doing in the wood bat leagues.

Without any further ado, here’s your players and the leagues they are playing in:

Cape Cod League-Starts June 20th

Johnny Castagnozzi-Chatam Anglers

Shawn Rapp-Cotuit Kettleers

Danny Serretti

Angel Zarate

Coastal Plain League-Started May 27th

Patrick Alvarez-Asheboro Copperheads

Cannon Pickell-Asheboro Copperheads

Will Stewart-Asheboro Copperheads

Hunter Stokely-Asheboro Copperheads

Max Riemer-High Point-Thomasville HiToms

Colby Wilkerson-High Point-Thomasville HiToms

Davis Palermo-Holly Springs Salamanders

Will Sanday-Holly Springs Salamanders

Mikey Madej-Holly Springs Salamanders

Tyler Causey-Lexington County Blowfish

Brandon Eike-Tri-City Chili Peppers

Max Alba-Wilmington Sharks

Northwoods League-Started May 31st

Connor Ollio-Madison Mallards

Caleb Cozart-Madison Mallards

Mac Horvath-Rochester Honkers

Tomas Frick-Wisconsin Woodchucks

Appalachian League-Started June 3rd

Eric Grintz-Bluefield Ridge Runners

Ohio Valley League-Started June 4th

Nick James-Full Count Rhythm

Valley League-Started June 5th

Will Schroeder-Front Royal Cardinals