With North Carolina’s 2021-22 school year kicking off Wednesday, 18 members of the UNC baseball team return to campus looking to build off their experiences in various summer leagues across the country.
Here’s a look at how they performed with their respective teams.
Cape Cod League
Johnny Castagnozzi, Chatham Anglers
Castagnozzi’s summer was disrupted when a pitch struck one of his hands in late June, sidelining him for 13 games. The rising sophomore still managed to play in 14 games, though, slashing .231/.302/.436 with two home runs and three walks compared to 18 strikeouts.
Danny Serretti, Chatham Anglers
Serretti didn’t make his Chatham debut until July 4, but he made the most of his second summer on the Cape, hitting .282/.365/.400 with two home runs, four doubles and four stolen bases in 24 games. He recorded 11 walks compared to 25 strikeouts.
Shawn Rapp, Cotuit Kettleers
Rapp went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a 13:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in three games (one start) for the Kettleers. His most impressive outing came on June 29, when he allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out six in 3 1/3 innings of relief, earning the save.
Coastal Plain League
Patrick Alvarez, Asheboro Copperheads
Perhaps no Tar Heel had a bigger summer than Alvarez, who, after playing in one game for UNC this spring, hit .313/.446/.477 in 36 games with Asheboro. The rising redshirt sophomore tallied 10 doubles, tied for the fifth most in the league; 29 walks, tied for the third most in the league; 21 RBIs; four stolen bases; and three home runs.
Will Stewart, Asheboro Copperheads
Alvarez wasn’t the only Copperhead who had a strong summer, as Stewart showed no signs of being hampered by the hamate injury that sidelined him for 38 games in the spring. Stewart hit .237/.338/.500 with nine home runs – tied for the seventh most in the league – and 29 RBIs in 34 games. He registered 15 walks compared to 33 strikeouts.
Hunter Stokely, Asheboro Copperheads
Stokely slashed .267/.388/.407 with three homers, three doubles and 17 RBIs across 24 games. He posted 12 walks compared to 21 strikeouts.
Max Riemer, High Point-Thomasville HiToms
Riemer ended the summer on a high note, batting .368/.409/.842 with two home runs, three doubles and eight RBIs in his last six games. For the entire summer, he slashed .257/.341/.471 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 25 games.
Colby Wilkerson, High Point-Thomasville HiToms
Wilkerson was limited to only nine games with the HiToms due to an injury. He hit .214/.405/.286 with seven walks and just one strikeout.
Mikey Madej, Holly Springs Salamanders
Madej slashed .133/.300/.133 in 11 games.
Kyle Mott, Holly Springs Salamanders
Mott allowed three earned runs or fewer in six of his nine starts, but after surrendering 12 runs over eight innings in his final two outings, he finished the summer 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA. Although the right-hander struck out 44 batters, he walked 27.
Davis Palermo, Holly Springs Salamanders
A potential starting option for UNC in 2022, Palermo (3-1, 3.60 ERA) was used solely as a reliever for the Salamanders. The right-hander made eight appearances, striking out 25 and walking nine in 15 innings.
Will Sandy, Holly Springs Salamanders
Sandy saved his best performance of the summer for last, surrendering one run on three hits over five innings of relief on July 31, striking out seven and walking zero. The lefty finished the summer 1-2 with a 2.22 ERA in seven games (six starts). He struck out 30 and walked 15.
Brandon Eike, Tri-City Chili Peppers
Eike played in only one game for the Chili Peppers due to an injury. He drew a walk, stole a base and scored a run.
Mac Horvath, Rochester Honkers
Coming off a promising finish to his freshman season, Horvath carried his momentum into the Northwoods League, slashing .287/.437/.434 with four homers, 25 RBIs and 33 walks compared to 30 strikeouts across 35 games. In addition to placing second in the Northwoods League’s Home Run Challenge and starting for the Great Lakes Division in the All-Star Game, he participated in the Major League Dreams Showcase – which brings together 100 of the Northwoods League’s top prospects to form four teams for a day of workouts and doubleheader action in front of MLB scouts.
Eric Grintz, Bluefield Ridge Runners
Grintz hit .316/.443/.354 with 14 RBIs and 17 walks compared to 19 strikeouts in 26 games. Although he didn’t hit a homer with Bluefield, he did blast a solo shot in the Appalachian League All-Star Game. The biggest area of improvement needed for the rising redshirt sophomore catcher is his defense; he thew out 20.7% of basestealers (12 of 58).
Ohio Valley League
Nick James, Full Count Rhythm
James went 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in five games (three starts) for the Full Count Rhythm. The rising redshirt sophomore struck out 28 batters over 20 2/3 innings, highlighted by three games of seven or more punchouts.
Will Schroeder, Front Royal Cardinals
Schroeder played in only 10 games with the Cardinals due to an injury. He slashed .303/.395/.515 with a home run and four doubles in 10 games.
Southern Collegiate League
Tyler Causey, Carolina Vipers
Causey proved to be among the best hitters in the Southern Collegiate League, hitting .403/.462/.701 with 16 RBIs, five doubles and five homers – tied for the third most in the league – in 18 games.