Dustin Ackley will become the first Tar Heel baseball player inducted into the Omaha College Baseball Hall of Fame in the second ever class.
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Established in 2013 to celebrate college baseball’s storied history, it’s fitting it didn’t take long for a Carolina player to join the elite ranks. Head Coach Mike Fox’s Tar Heels seemingly make Omaha, the site of the College World Series, their second home.
Ackley will be joined in the 2014 class by Steve Arlin from Ohio State, Will Clark from Mississippi State and Mark Kotsay from Cal State Fullerton.
Inductees were selected because of their outstanding contributions to college baseball with a special interest in the performances at the game’s biggest stage: in Omaha.
It must have been a rather easy decision for the former players and coaches who were voting on the honorees as Carolina’s Ackley is one of the best hitters in ACC history and holds the College World Series career record with 28 hits.
In addition, the lefty boasted an incredible .412 batting average in his Omaha career. Ackley, the first player ever to be named to the College World Series All-Tournament Team on three separate occasions, always saved his best stuff for college baseball’s cathedral.
The first baseman performed at the highest level for the Diamond Heels from 2007-09, finishing his UNC career as the school’s all-time batting average leader. He also led the way in hits, runs and total bases.
With those lofty statistics, it’s no surprise Ackley’s experienced success in the professional ranks. He’s currently starting in the outfield for the Seattle Mariners.
Ackley and the rest of the 2014 inductees will be recognized at the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby on July 3 and be featured on ESPN’s live broadcast.
It’s a fitting tribute for one of the Tar Heels’ very best.