North Carolina

BSB: Three Tar Heels named to BA Freshman All-America team

Posted June 26

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Gianluca Dalatri, Josh Hiatt and Ashton McGee were named Baseball America Freshman All-Americans, the magazine annoucned Monday. Dalatri, a right-hander from Wall Township, New Jersey, went 7-3 with a 3.34 ERA across 15 starts in his rookie season. Hiatt, a redshirt freshman righty from Charlotte, was a bullpen stalwart who registered 13 saves and had a 0.29 ERA in ACC competition. A native of Pikeville, North Carolina, who started 57 games at second base and designated hitter, McGee hit .327 with 10 doubles and seven home runs for No. 2 national seed North Carolina.

Carolina's three freshman first-teamers were the most nationally. Dalatri, Hiatt and McGee also tie for the most first-team picks in school history with the 2013 trio of Skye Bolt, Landon Lassiter and Trent Thornton. Hiatt was one of three members of the 2017 first team to also earn full All-America honors, joining Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner and Texas A&M second baseman Braden Shewmake.

Dalatri was a weekend starter from the opening series and pitched the bulk of the season as Carolina's No. 2 pitcher behind J.B. Bukauskas. A third-team All-ACC pick and a member of the ACC All-Freshman Team, Dalatri earned ACC Pitcher of the Week honors with a masterful 15-strikeout performance against Radford in February. He finished his rookie year with a team-best 97.0 innings of work, in which he struck out 85 batters and walked just 19.

Hiatt, who redshirted in 2016, introduced himself to the college baseball world in emphatic fashion by securing saves in all three games of the season-opening sweep of Kentucky. The first-team All-ACC righty appeared in a team-high 32 games and was 4-2 with a 1.90 ERA and 13 saves. He struck out 64 batters across 52.0 innings and limited opponents to a .168 batting average.

McGee enrolled at UNC in January and quickly established himself in the middle of the potent Tar Heel lineup. Hitting primarily in the 3-hole, McGee slahsed .327/.417/.484 in his debut season and was among the team leaders in almost every offensive category. The ACC Freshman of the Year was even better in league play, ranking second on the team in hitting with a .333 average while starting all 30 games.

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