Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen impresses once again

Former Tar Heel pitcher Zac Gallen took the mound Wednesday and had another fantastic night of pitching.

Former North Carolina Tar Heel pitcher [autotag]Zac Gallen[/autotag] was back on the mound Wednesday night for the Arizona Diamondbacks and added to his already impressive season.

Gallen has been a top pitcher this season, dominating batters left and right, even setting a franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings.

Wednesday night against the Houston Astros, Gallen pitched for seven innings, allowing two hits for an ERA of two. He also had six strikeouts while only walking one batter, helping Arizona beat Houston 5-2.

Gallen has worked the mound well this season. He has a winning record of 12-3, pitching 179 innings for a sixth-best 2.46 ERA.

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Former Tar Heel Michael Russell named to Atlantic League All-defense team

Former UNC baseball shortstop Michael Russell was named to the Atlantic League All-defensive team as his team battles for a championship.

Former North Carolina shortstop [autotag]Michael Russell[/autotag] has made waves on the professional scene, being named to the 2022 Atlantic league All-defensive team.

Russell was drafted in the 5th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014. Since then, the Tar Heel had spent time in the minors splitting time at second and third base.

After five seasons in the Rays development farm playing with four different teams and spending a year on the disabled list, Russell was released by the Rays in 2019.

Since then, Russell has been a vital member of the High Point Rockers of the Atlantic League. This season he’s started 98 games, helping get the Rockers to a playoff berth. This season, Russell has played mistake-free with a fielding percentage of .975, earning his All-defensive team honors.

On Wednesday, Russell and the Rockers will be back in action at 6:35 P.M for game two of their Atlantic league championship series.

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Former Tar Heel Michael Busch continues to make a name for himself in minor leagues

UNC second baseman Michael Busch continues to impress in the minor league, becoming one of 17 players to hit 30+ home runs this year.

North Carolina Tar Heel [autotag]Michael Busch[/autotag] is swinging through the minors, becoming one of 17 players to hit 30+ home runs this season in minor league baseball.

Busch, a member of Oklahoma City Dodgers, the triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has been on a roll with a .280 batting percentage. The second baseman was the 31st overall pick in the first round of the 2019 MLB draft.

So far this season, Busch has spent some time with Oklahoma City and the double-A affiliate Tulsa Drillers. In just 31 games with the Drillers, Busch hit 11 of his 31 home runs on the season and finished with a .306 batting average.

Busch was a valuable member of the UNC baseball program from 2017 to 2019, hitting 32 home runs, 142 RBIs, and a batting average of .282.

There is no telling when Busch’s number will be called to appear in the big leagues, but if he keeps performing the way he has, that day can be sooner than later.

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Cooper Criswell makes his season debut

Former North Carolina Tar Heel pitcher Cooper Criswell makes his season debut for the Tampa Bay Rays, giving an impressive outing.

Former North Carolina Tar Heel [autotag]Cooper Criswell[/autotag] made his season debut for the Tamps Bay Rays Monday night.

The right-handed pitcher started the game against Toronto and was dealing early. He pitched 3.1 innings, only giving up two hits and one run for an ERA of 2.70.

This performance was a significant improvement from his Major League debut last season when he pitched just one inning for the Los Angeles Angels, giving up six hits and three runs.

Criswell was a vital member of the 2018 UNC baseball team. He finished with a 6-2 record, pitched 75.1 innings, and had an ERA of 2.99. After that season, Criswell got drafted to the Angeles in the 13th round as the 391 overall picks.

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Pitcher Zac Gallen sets new record for Arizona Diamondbacks

Another day, another Tar Heel is making history as pitcher Zac Gallen enters his name in Arizona Diamondbacks history.

Arizona Diamondback pitcher [autotag]Zac Gallen [/autotag] has made history, setting a record for consecutive scoreless innings.

The former Tar Heel took the mound Sunday evening against the Colorado Rockies and set the record for 44.1 innings pitched without allowing a run here in 2022. Gallen has been dealing this season for Arizona, with a record of 12-2 and 7th best ERA of 2.50.

The New Jersey native hadn’t given up a run since August 8th against the Cleveland Guardians. The streak did end on Sunday, with Colorado scoring three runs in the fourth inning. However, Gallen was able to pitch his name into history before that inning, snapping former Diamondback pitcher Brandon Webb’s 15-year record.

Gallen spent three years at UNC as one of the top players in the nation. The right-handed pitcher as a Tar Heel last season was his most impressive, pitching 90.2 innings with an ERA of 2.68.

After that season, Gallen was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the third round of the 2016 draft, becoming one of the premier pitchers to watch.

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UNC trasnfer Matt Keating signs with New York Yankees

After joining the Diamond Heels a few weeks ago through transfer, Matt Keating will be forgo his Carolina journey and start his MLB one.

UNC has lost another Diamond Heel to MLB with transfer pitcher [autotag]Matt Keating[/autotag] being selected in the 2022 MLB Draft.

Earlier this month it was announced that USC’s right-handed pitcher Keating would be suiting up in Carolina blue threads, however, after a call from the pros, he’s heading to the Big Apple.  The 21-year-old relief pitcher has signed with the New York Yankees after getting drafted by the team in the ninth round of the MLB draft.

As the 280th overall pick, Keating also received a $122,500 signing bonus as he is expected to work his way through the farm system before hitting the mound on the main stage.

The Nebraska native spent just one year with the Trojans, appearing in only 24 games. In those 24 games, Keating pitched 30 innings for seven saves, 44 strike outs and a 3.60 ERA. Working his way up through the rankings will not be anything new for Keating. Before becoming a Trojan last season, he was pitching on the community college level with the Storm of Southeast Community College.

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Report: Multiple teams interested in former UNC pitcher Daniel Bard

Former UNC baseball pitcher Daniel Bard is a hot name as the MLB trade deadline approaches, with multiple teams reported to be interested.

Former UNC baseball player [autotag]Daniel Bard[/autotag] is in the midst of a terrific season for the Colorado Rockies and could be an interesting name around the MLB trade deadline.

With the trade deadline approaching on Aug. 2, multiple teams are reported to have interest in the 37-year-old pitcher.

Bard joined the Rockies back in 2017 after a short retirement and has now blossomed into great form. Bard has 21 saves and a career-best 1.91 era this season in 37 appearances.

He has spent the past three years with the Rockies and has seen basically half of his saves over that span come this year.

Bard was selected in the first round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox. While Bard didn’t make the NL All-Star roster this year, he is clearly someone that teams recognize as a potential asset as the playoff push begins for numerous organizations.

With just a few days before the deadline, this is one Tar Heel to follow.

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Joey Lancellotti signs with New York Mets

Former Tar Heel baseball player Joey Lancellotti joins the MLB after signing with the New York Mets.

Another Diamond Heel has found a spot in Major League Baseball, with the New York Mets signing right-handed pitcher [autotag]Joey Lancellotti[/autotag].

The 24-year-old played four seasons with the UNC baseball program, shifting gears to the independent market this past year as a member of the Missoula PaddleHeads. During his UNC tenure, Lancellotti appeared in 63 games in Carolina blue, including a shortened 2021 season after sustaining an injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery.

In those 63 games for the Heels, Lancellotti pitched in 126 innings for an ERA of 3.14, five saves, and a 12-10 win/loss record. After Tommy John surgery, the right-handed pitcher made a return to the mound with the PaddleHeads in the Pioneer league. In his short stint he appeared in just two games, tossing three strikeouts with zero hits in two innings.

Lancellotti’s story is another great comeback story of Tar Heels finding themselves in professional sports.

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Davis Palermo selected in 2022 MLB draft

Diamond Heel’s right-hand pitcher Davis Palermo has been selected in the MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies in the 8th round.

UNC baseball pitcher [autotag]Davis Palermo[/autotag] has been selected in the 8th round of the MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies.

The 22-year-old, right-hand pitcher joined the Diamond Heels back in 2019, seeing limited time at the mound the previous four season and sitting out his entire freshman season. This past season as a red shirt sophomore, Palermo finished with a 2-2 record with five saves and an ERA of 2.78.

Palermo saw a significant up-tick in time spent on the mound, going from playing in just 17 games the season prior to appearing in 37. Palermo pitched 58.1 innings, throwing 74 strikeouts in the process.

Palermo is set to join former Tar Heel Daniel Bard, to help boost a team that has been looking to build their bullpen for quite some time now.

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Former Diamond Heel Daniel Bard having breakout year for Rockies

Former Diamond Heel Daniel Bard is having a breakout year with the Colorado Rockies, as the public discusses a potential All-Star bid.

In 2017 [autotag]Daniel Bard[/autotag] retired from the mound, joining the Arizona Diamondbacks as a franchise player mentor. Five years later, the former Tar Heel finds himself having another solid season after securing his 20th save of the season for the Colorado Rockies.

Bard joined the Rockies back in 2017 after a short retirement period…what would follow is the ultimate comeback story. Bard spent 2,646 days off the major league mound, and now the 37-year-old has redefined the pitch that got him drafted in the first round of the 2006 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox.

This season Bard has 20 saves and 42 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.02.

While Bard did not crack the NL All-Star team this year, his season is still one worth noting. And he could be a valuable piece at the trade deadline for a contender as well.

Bard is a free agent at the end of the year and while the Rockies have said they don’t have immediate plans to trade him, getting some valuable pieces back while allowing Bard to pitch for a contender would make sense.

He’s a name to watch at the deadline here in a few weeks.

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