2022 NCAA Tournament Chapel Hill Super Regional Preview

Image credit: Danny Serretti (Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

North Carolina

Coach: Scott Forbes

Postseason history: 10th super regional appearance (first since 2019), Seeking 12th trip to Omaha and first since 2018.

Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Chapel Hill Regional. Went 4-1, defeating Virginia Commonwealth in regional final.

Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Tar Heels)

“UNC has a bend but don’t break mentality. They don’t have as many bullets in the bullpen, but they’ll go to Davis Palermo and Shawn Rapp as much as they have to. Forbes has a good feel for the bullpen. Whether it’s the third or seventh inning, he has a good feel for putting the right guy in the right spot.

Danny Serretti is (a) good veteran. Vance Honeycutt is a first-rounder, Mac Horvath is a stud. Hunter Stokely gives you good at-bats all the time, Tomas Frick is high energy behind the plate. They’ve got young guys like Horvath and Honeycutt who turned into upperclassmen at the end of the year. On the mound, Max Carlson and Brandon Schaffer, they can toe up with anybody.

“They always bend but down the stretch they haven’t broken. I don’t know why that is, I think they just have some guys that can stop a game.

“Honeycutt, you’ve got to throw heaters in and sliders away. You can’t leave anything out over the plate. You’ve got to challenge him with heaters in.

Max Carlson can pitch with anybody. The mix is good, but the fastball has something to it. He seems to command it pretty good. He attacks, comes right at you. He has a pretty good breaking ball to go to. He shows you the changeup enough.

“They ironed out their defense later in the year. They went with a new second baseman and Serretti got better at shortstop. Offensively, they put together enough at-bats and the young guys became so much better. They started hot, were bad in the middle, then they got hot again. The fatigue of the young guys in the middle of the year screwed them up, then they got hot again at the end.”

Projected lineup

C: Tomas Frick
1B: Hunter Stokely
2B: Colby Wilkerson
3B: Mac Horvath
SS: Danny Serretti
LF: Mikey Madej
CF: Vance Honeycutt
RF: Angel Zarate
DH: Alberto Osuna
SP: Max Carlson
SP: Brandon Schaeffer
SP: Will Sandy
RP: Davis Palermo
RP: Shawn Rapp




Coach: Dave Van Horn

Postseason history: 14th super regional appearance (fourth straight). Seeking 10th trip to Omaha and first since 2019.

Postseason route: No. 2 seed in Stillwater Regional. Went 3-1, defeating Oklahoma State in regional final.

Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Razorbacks)

“They’re good. I’m not surprised they’re still playing. I watched the last three, four innings against Oklahoma State and that was some intense baseball. They’re very balanced, they’ve got a good lineup, they’re a great defensive team, they’re pretty deep on the mound, they have athleticism, they have power. They’re just really balanced.

“They’ve got some experience, positionally guys like Chris Lanzilli and Michael Turner as grad transfers and Jalen Battles, Robert Moore have been there, they have a lot of experience. On the mound, Connor Noland is an older guy. Kole Ramage and Zebulon Vermillion have been there forever. Sprinkle in Hagen Smith and Jaxon Wiggins, Hagen Smith was nails the other day. They’re such a beautiful defensive team. I think they’re really good, really deep on the mound.

“Their offensive numbers in the middle of the season weren’t great. Early in the year in Fayetteville you can get some wind blowing in. They seem to be coming alive now. Seven guys have hit eight home runs or more. They’ve hit 98 home runs, so it seems like they’ve got some guys coming on. They have some threats. Battles is playing better of late. Cayden Wallace is a threat. Braydon Webb is a threat, Brady Slavens is a threat. Lanzilli is a complete player. You can get down in seven, eight hole and they can whack it.

“With Noland, you’re talking about a guy with 99 strikeouts in 93 innings. There’s something to be said for knowing what you’re going to get. I bet Dave would say he’s their rock. When you run him out there, you know you’re going to have a chance to win in the sixth inning. Those guys are valuable.

“To be playing this late you have to be clutch in the bullpen. Evan Taylor and Kole Ramage are two older guys who been there forever. Taylor is really tough on lefthanded batters. They have older guys to clean up messes.

“They’re fielding .981 and I would even say that’s misleading because of the range. Moore and Battles are as good a middle-infield combination as you’ll see in college baseball. They turn a lot of double plays that other teams don’t turn. Those guys are special.”

Projected lineup

C: Michael Turner
1B: Peyton Stovall
2B: Robert Moore
3B: Cayden Wallace
SS: Jalen Battles
LF: Zack Gregory
CF: Braydon Webb
RF: Chris Lanzilli
DH: Brady Slavens
SP: Connor Noland
SP: Hagen Smith
SP: Jaxon Wiggins
RP: Evan Taylor
RP: Brady Tygart


Saturday, 11 a.m. ET (ESPN)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN or ESPN2)

Monday, TBD


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