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Check back prior to the 2008 season for a preview and a program outlook.
Click here to keep up with the 2008 run to the World Series.

Off the cuff: Tim Federowicz, the junior catcher, was drafted in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox and will be turning pro.

Tim Fedroff, who batted .404 with a team-high 12 homers, is only a sophomore but because of where his birthday falls, the All-America player is eligible to turn professional. He's deciding whether to accept an offer from the Cleveland Indians, who selected him in the seventh round of the draft.

Normally players who don't go pro right out of high school have to stay with their college team at least through their junior year, when most turn 21. Coach Fox was counting on having Fedroff for three years and didn't realize until after his freshman year that he was eligible to turn pro after this season. This is the first time the Heels could lose an enrolled player before his junior year.

The Tar Heels have lost three of their high school recruits for next year, however, as they have decided to turn professional instead of entering college. That's the most that Coach Fox, now in his 10th season as head coach at Carolina , has ever lost from a recruiting class.

The $25.5 million renovation of Boshamer Stadium will be completed prior to the 2009 season. Six seniors – Chad Flack, Mike Facchinei, Kyle Shelton, Tyler Trice, Seth Williams and Rob Wooten – won't get a chance to play for the Heels there but, after being the most successful senior class ever at UNC, they helped build it.


Mike Fox

'08 Heels go 54-14 but come up just short for NCAA title
Carolina ends season where it wanted - in Omaha

The good news and the bad news for the University of North Carolina baseball team is the same thing. The Tar Heels ended their season at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. for a third year in a row.

“It's where you want to end your season,” said UNC baseball head coach Mike Fox during a sit-down interview in his office following the 2008 season. “It's the worst place to end your season but it's the best place to end your season.”

Carolina finished the season 54-14 after losing for a second time to eventual national champion Fresno State 6-1 in the double-elimination tournament. The Tar Heels are the only team in the nation with more than 50 wins each of the past three seasons.

While an experienced UNC team with arguably the best pitching staff in the nation entered the World Series as one of the favorites, the landscape changed considerably after the Heels got themselves into the loser's bracket and had to not only fight good teams but rain delays.

The delays changed pitching availability and the rainouts caused the Heels to have to win three games in a row to reach the finals. One game was played over two days as the game was picked up the next day after a long rain and lightening delay.

Coach Fox refused to blame the weather for the Tar Heels' elimination. He said the team enjoyed its time together during rain delays – playing cards, telling jokes, and laughing at the antics of sophomore Mark Fleury, who is kind of like the class clown.

“The players have the same attitude as I do,” Coach Fox said, “So, we're not going to start the game for an hour and half, where else would I rather be right now?”

Still, the delays gave Fresno State four days between games while the Heels tried to get a game in against LSU. This gave the Bulldogs a chance to rest their depleted pitching staff while the game starts and stops, and three games in a row, tired Carolina 's pitching staff. “We've played three games in a row before,” said Coach Fox, who refused to make excuses.

“Fresno State was playing at a high level - making big pitches, getting home runs from people who don't normally hit ‘em - and that's what it takes,” he said. “The superstars have to play well but some of the others guys have to step up.”

For instance, Coach Fox noted that Bulldog shortstop Danny Muno made 25 errors during the season but played errorless ball against the Heels. “He made every single play against us, including some spectacular ones,” he said.

Then, in one game against Georgia in the championship series, Muno made three errors. “If he had made one or two of those errors against us in a 5-3 game, who knows?” Coach Fox said. “When it comes down to it, it was their turn and it wasn't ours.”

Click here for more season review.

Take a look at team statistics.
Previous baseball articles:
Carolina ends 2008 season where it wanted - in Omaha
Tar Heels run out of gas against Fresno State
Flack does it in the clutch again as Tar Heels fight on
Federowicz heroics keep UNC alive in College World Series
Carolina in the College World Series again
UNC is one win away from third straight trip to the World Series
Carolina baseball advances to host Super Regional starting Saturday

Heels defeats UNC-Wilmington 7-3 with five-run inning

UNC's wins over Miami vault Heels to No. 1 in the nation
Carolina baseball reaches 40-game win mark
Tar Heels take two of three from Florida State

Carolina baseball goes for best start in school history