Vance Honeycutt headlines nine UNC baseball players with All-ACC Honors

After a disappointing exit early in the NCAA Regionals last year, the UNC baseball team improved in virtually every aspect this offseason.

North Carolina nabbed several transfers that are now in the starting lineup, highlighted by starting first baseman Parks Harber (Georgia) and starting right fielder Anthony Donofrio (Quinnipiac). The Diamond Heels also entered the 2024 regular season with the ACC’s best recruiting class, which included now-starting catcher Luke Stevenson.

UNC’s recruits played a major role in team success this team, with North Carolina capturing its first ACC Regular Season Championship since 2018, but it was a pair of returners who anchored the Diamond Heels’ success.

Starting center fielder Vance Honeycutt and starting left fielder Casey Cook, who respectively lead UNC in home runs (22) and RBIs (73), were the lone two Diamond Heels to earn All-ACC First Team honors.

Not only is Honeycutt hitting .319, one of seven on North Carolina players doing so, but he achieved two records during the regular season: becoming the program’s all-time home run record-holder, plus the only player in ACC history with 50 home runs and 70 stolen bases. When UNC’s season is over, Honeycutt will likely be a first-round selection in July’s MLB Draft.

Cook earned All-ACC Freshman honors last year, ranking second amongst conference rookies with 66 hits, but he elevated his game to another level this year. Cook is third on the Diamond Heels in batting average (.341) and home runs (16), plus he drove in a team-high 73 runs during the regular season.

Honeycutt and Cook were just two of 10 North Carolina teammates with All-ACC Honors, though.

Stevenson, starting third baseman Gavin Gallagher and starting pitcher Jason DeCaro were named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

Gallagher is currently second on UNC with a .351 batting average, Stevenson is hitting .290 and one of five Diamond Heels with double-digit home run totals (13), while DeCaro is 4-1 on the mound and leads North Carolina’s rotation with a 3.91 earned run average.

DeCaro, Harber and Elon transfer Shea Sprague made the All-ACC Second Team.

Rounding out UNC’s list of All-ACC selections are Stevenson, star closer Dalton Pence (six saves) and NCAA wins co-leader Matthew Matthijs.

Not every team lives up to its preseason hype. The Diamond Heels exceeded that hype, as they’re the ACC Baseball Championship’s top seed and look for a second title in three seasons.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire