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College World Series a family affair for UNC baseball star Vance Honeycutt

For the first time since 2018, the UNC baseball team is heading back to Omaha for the College World Series.

North Carolina’s journey to reach college baseball’s ultimate tournament was anything but easy.

The Diamond Heels came back from three runs down – in the ninth inning – of the Chapel Hill Regional opener, faced elimination heading into the ninth inning of the regional final against reigning CWS champion LSU, then trailed West Virginia late in Game 1 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional.

There was one constant for UNC through all the adversity it faced in the first two rounds of NCAA Tournament action, though – star center fielder Vance Honeycutt.

On Saturday, June 1, Honeycutt homered twice in North Carolina’s first win over LSU. Honeycutt blasted a walk-off home run on Friday in an 8-6 victory over West Virginia, then a lead-off bomb Saturday in the Diamond Heels CWS berth-clinching, 2-1 win.

Before Vance, there was another Honeycutt in Chapel Hill – Bobby, a member of the 1989 UNC team that also made it to Omaha.

“Quietly, I have thought about it,” Bobby told Adam Lucas in a recent interview. “My former teammates and I have talked about it amongst ourselves of how cool it would be for all of us to go back to Omaha. I haven’t been back on any of Carolina’s other trips.”

Vance understood his dad’s place in North Carolina baseball history from a young age – and appreciates the influence it had on him.

“It’s not like he talked about it all the time,” Vance told Lucas. “But I always knew he had a different way of going about the game of baseball, as opposed to some of the other parents of guys I played with. Starting in Little League and as I got older, his advice was always different. The difference was that he always understood that the game is hard. He knows hitting is hard and if you fail seven out of ten times, you’re in the Hall of Fame. He instilled that into me at a young age.”

What better Father’s Day gift for Bobby than to see his All-Star son play in the College World Series?

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire