Chapel Hill Super Regional Preview, Schedule & Anonymous Coach Scouting Reports


The Chapel Hill Super Regional pits North Carolina against West Virginia. The Tar Heels (45-14) won the ACC title for the first time since 2018 and in regionals took down reigning national champion LSU. Now, they’re aiming for their first trip to the College World Series under Scott Forbes, who is in his fourth season as head coach.

Last weekend, West Virginia (36-22) made program history when it won a regional for the first time. It’s the latest milestone for a program that has been on the rise since Randy Mazey arrived in Morgantown 12 years ago. Now, he’s in his final season before retirement and has the chance to notch one more significant milestone for the program—a trip to Omaha.

Here’s a look at the series schedule:

  • Friday, 6 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
  • Sunday, 3 p.m. (ESPN2, if necessary)

West Virginia

Coach: Randy Mazey
Postseason history: First super regional and seeking first trip to the College World Series.
Postseason route: No. 3 seed in Tucson. Went 3-0, defeating Grand Canyon in regional final.

Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Mountaineers):

“The first thing that comes to mind is it reminds me of playing a Mike Gillespie-type of offense. That’s high praise being that he’s one of the greatest coaches ever. They’ll do anything offensively, anything at any time. They’ll steal when they need to steal, hit when they need to hit. They’re a very good offense in terms of creating opportunities and taking what the defense gives them. If you shift JJ Wetherholt, he’ll drag for a hit, stuff like that.

I would try to throw Wetherholt fastballs and crowd him. Here’s the deal: If you pitch careful with him, you have a better chance of making a mistake over the plate, versus if I crowd him with the fastball I either hit him and he gets to the fastball, or you hopefully get him out. If the ball’s where it needs to go, he’ll have a hard time keeping it fair. The solo home run with him doesn’t beat you, so especially with no one on go ahead [and pitch him inside]. You’ve got to get the guys ahead of him out because you don’t want to be forced into a situation where he can put them up three runs.

“The lineup is long. You have a guy at the bottom of the order in Skylar King who can turn it over. It’s a very non-selfish approach with the lineup. You see them understanding who they are, understanding their roles in the lineup. They’re going to do what they need to do to get on base. Grant Hussey has 12 home runs and he’s second on the team, but he’ll drag too. It’s an unselfish lineup.

Derek Clark is as good pitchability as we saw all year. He’s got makeup, moxie. He thinks his stuff is superior to the hitter; he’s not afraid to go after you. The other part is when you can move the ball and have small lane changes you end up forcing hitters to make earlier decisions. His numbers—89 innings, 76 hits, 83 strikeouts—the punch outs aren’t that many, but he gets strikes. He moves the ball, he forces early decisions, and you end up with weak contact. When you have a Friday starter who can stabilize the rotation and the bullpen and get deep in games, that’s how you win.

“They have pieces [in the bullpen]. They match up, they have a little funk, just enough stuff. Look at Chase Meyer. On paper you see an 8 ERA, but he’s got a good arm, he’s athletic and its 96. When you’re around the plate like that you’re trouble. They can matchup out of the bullpen and can get you out of any situation.

“Pay attention to how deep they play in the outfield. Pay attention to how many balls don’t go over their head. Something may fall in front of them, but they run down so many balls in the gap. They take away so many extra-base hits.

Is Mazey’s retirement a motivating factor? “Anything that programs can hold onto and feel a sense of urgency, yeah, I think it is a thing. Some teams have these stories, and some teams don’t, but I think it’s a thing. They’ve poured into Randy just as much as Randy has poured into them and they’re reaping the rewards of it.”

Projected Lineup

C: Logan Sauve
1B: Grant Hussey
2B: Brodie Kresser
3B: Reed Chumley
SS: JJ Wetherholt
LF: Sam White
CF: Skylar King
RF: Ben Lumsden
DH: Spencer Barnett
SP: Derek Clark
SP: Tyler Switalski
SP: Aidan Major
RP: Carson Estridge
RP: Hambleton Oliver

North Carolina

Coach: Scott Forbes
Postseason history: 11th super regional (first since 2022). Seeking 11 trip to the College World Series and first since 2018.
Postseason route: No. 1 seed in Chapel Hill. Went 3-1, defeating LSU in regional final.

Scouting report (anonymous coach breaks down the Tar Heels):

“When we saw them early, I thought they were phenomenal. But you see them now, they’ve taken another step. The freshmen, yes, but also the veteran presence of the lineup. It’s not just Vance Honeycutt, but Casey Cook, Parks Harber, Alberto Osuna. They’re the strength and power through the middle. Alex Madera has the ability to attack all fields. It’s an ultra-deep, older, powerful lineup. They can really hurt you in different ways.

“For me, I’ve seen [Honeycutt] be a really good low-ball hitter. Not feasting, but he does well with offspeed down. You can get him swinging, and I think most of his strikeouts are up in the zone. If you can, expand up. But you have to get to two strikes and you’ve got to get [the ball up].

“When you’re in an opposing dugout and they can do both ends, slug as well as create chaos with the running game from athleticism, it drives you nuts as an opposing coach. You look at the bodies, look at the athletes, outside of one or two guys in the middle of the order, there’s so much versatility there. They can wait on the two-, three-run home run, they can put the bunt down or they can outslug you.

“[Pitching coach Bryant] Gaines does one of the best jobs in the country of not situational pitching, but using a whole staff instead of relying on two to three guys to run through a weekend. The way they’ve used bullpen last three to four years has been rewarding to see as a pitching guy and just how he gets the most out of his guys.

“A key component in postseason baseball, you can’t win the game early, but you don’t want to lose it. They have the ability to win it late. They’ve always got the horses on the backend of the bullpen and the experience those guys have acquired through conference play and now the postseason. No moment is too big. I think we saw it against LSU.

“There’s not a better outfield in the country. Cook, Honeycutt, [Anthony] Donofrio. Done. That’s the best three across the board. The fact Donofrio is in college baseball is a slap in the face. He should have been signed last year. There’s not a better defense for three outfielders in the country.

Why do they play so well at home (35-3)? “I hate to say self-confidence. Maybe it’s comfort? They know they’ll have the last at-bat; they’re always in it to win it. It’s not an ultra-overwhelming experience as an opposing team, but they play ultra-confident in their own surroundings. I feel like you’re going to a PGA event there. It’s not like you’re going to WWE wrestling venue. This is more the PGA event. It’s a gorgeous place, everyone’s polite, everyone’s got their nice colors on, but it’s not an overwhelming situation. From a team perspective though, they play with a lot of confidence.”

Projected Lineup

C: Luke Stevenson
1B: Parks Harber
2B: Alex Madera
3B: Gavin Gallaher
SS: Colby Wilkerson
LF: Casey Cook
CF: Vance Honeycutt
RF: Anthony Donofrio
DH: Alberto Osuna
SP: Jason DeCaro
SP: Shea Sprague
SP: Aidan Haugh
RP: Matthew Matthijs
RP: Dalton Pence

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