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North Carolina ace Gianluca Dalatri will have hip surgery next month and is expected to miss the rest of the season, the team announced Monday.
It wasn’t immediately clear when Dalatri suffered the injury, but he last pitched on March 31 against Duke. He lasted 3 1/3 innings, gave up seven hits and only two runs. In the six games he pitched, Dalatri was 1-1 with a 2.25 earned run average. He recorded 35 strikeouts in 32 innings.
He threw 7 1/3 innings against South Florida on Feb. 23, struck out nine batters and allowed only one earned run.
The Tar Heels had high hopes for Dalatri this season, who missed 12 weeks of the 2018 regular season after suffering a stress reaction in his right throwing elbow. He returned before the end of the year and pitched in five games.
But in his fifth game back — the first of the College World Series — Dalatri was pulled in the first inning for what he said was a “dead arm,” and did not return for the rest of the postseason.
“Obviously it was difficult,” Dalatri said in February. “It wasn’t the easiest thing to go through, but at the same time, you learn a lot about yourself, and a lot about your teammates and how they’re going to bounce back.”
Dalatri said last year he learned patience and to have an appreciation for the game.
“You never know when it’s your last pitch,” he said. “You never know when you may get cut from a roster and it’s the last time you pick up a baseball.”
The Tar Heels are 30-11 overall, 13-8 in the ACC, and are tied for the ACC Coastal Division lead with Georgia Tech.
Dalatri, a junior, is eligible to enter the Major League Baseball draft after this season. He was 7-3 during his freshman season with a 3.34 ERA.