North Carolina set a school record for most regular-season victories, spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the nation and won its first regular-season ACC championship since 1990. Perhaps it’s fitting, then, that two Tar Heels earned ACC player of the year honors.
Colin Moran, UNC’s junior third baseman, was named on Monday the ACC Player of the Year. Kent Emanuel, UNC’s junior left-hander, was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year. The league’s 12 head coaches voted on the awards.
Moran, who leads the nation in RBIs, became the seventh player in school history to receive ACC Player of the Year honors, and first since Dustin Ackley in 2009. Emanuel, meanwhile, is the third UNC pitcher to be the conference pitcher of the year, and first since Alex White in 2008.
Entering UNC’s regular-season finale on Monday night against Florida State, Moran was batting .376 with 13 home runs, 83 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .504. Emanuel, the Tar Heels’ No. 1 pitcher throughout the season, is 9-3 with a 2.28 ERA. He has pitched a team-high 102.2 innings, and leads UNC with 79 strikeouts. His 20 walks are the fewest of the Heels’ three regular weekend starters.
UNC senior first baseman Cody Stubbs joined Moran and Emanuel on the All-ACC first team. N.C. State sophomores Trea Turner, a shortstop, and Carlos Rodon, a left-handed pitcher, also received first-team All-ACC honors.
Stubbs ranks among the top 10 nationally with 66 RBIs, and his 21 doubles are the 10th-most in school history in a single season. Rodon, the Wolfpack’s ace, leads the nation with 137 strikeouts and is 10 strikeouts away from tying the school record for strikeouts in a single season.
Rodon earned first-team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season. Turner received first-team honors for the first time. He leads N.C. State in batting average (.383), slugging percentage (.589), on-base percentage (.463), runs (68), triples (4), and home runs (6). A prolific base-stealer, Turner enters the postseason with 24 steals, and he already holds the school record for career stolen bases.
N.C. State senior first baseman Tarran Senay was named to the All-ACC second team, as was UNC freshman outfielder Skye Bolt and freshman relief pitcher Trent Thornton. Duke sophomore second baseman Andy Perez and junior third baseman Jordan Betts also received second-team honors.
Virginia coach Brian O’Connor was named ACC Coach of the Year, and Cavaliers freshman Joe McCarthy was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Four Virginia players were named to the All-ACC first team. UNC and Georgia Tech each had three players on the first team.
Carter: 919-829-8944 Twitter: @_andrewcarter