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Two UNC baseball standouts named Dick Howser Trophy semifinalists

If you follow the North Carolina Tar Heels intently on the baseball diamond, chances are you know about star center fielder Vance Honeycutt.

Not only is Honeycutt the reigning ACC Defensive Player of the year, but he’s a top-rate hitter. He currently leads UNC with 22 home runs, is second with 57 RBIs, plus he’s one of eight Diamond Heels (.333) with a .300 average.

On the pitcher’s mound, Matthew Matthijs is a name you should familiarize yourself with. Matthijs is one of the top starts in an up-and-down bullpen, as his 11 wins tie himself atop Division I with Samford’s Michael Ross.

When either Honeycutt or Matthijs plays well, typically so does North Carolina. UNC is atop the ACC with 39 wins, but a Thursday win at archrival Duke could make it one of just four 40-game winners in the country (Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas A&M).

Honeycutt and Matthijs are being recognized for their efforts on the baseball diamond this season, as they were recently named semifinalists for the Dick Howser Trophy.

If that award sounds pretty prestigious, that’s because it is.

The Dick Howser Trophy is awarded annually to the top player in college baseball. Current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes won the award last season, while former Texas Longhorn Ivan Melendez did so the season before.

The Diamond Heels have two of the sport’s best on their roster. Can they help lead UNC to its first College World Series title?

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire