UNC baseball program loses key contributor to season-ending injury

The UNC baseball program was relying on this senior to be a key component of its rotation for the 2024 season, but an injury will sideline the right-hander for the season.
Virginia Tech v North Carolina
Virginia Tech v North Carolina / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

With opening day just a few weeks away, the UNC baseball program has been gearing up for the start at a run towards Ohama.

Unfortunately, the Diamond Heels have lost a very big piece of its projected rotation before the regular season even got underway.

On Tuesday, the UNC baseball program announced that senior right-hander Jake Knapp will miss the entire 2004 season. Knapp suffered a torn UCL in his throwing arm, an injury that will require surgery.

As a junior during the 2023 season, Knapp led the ACC with 16 starts. He finished the season with a 5-4 record to go along with a 5.04 ERA, as his production and continued improvement this offseason had him tabbed as the Diamond Heels' Friday night starter.

Unfortunately, Knapp won't be able to take the mound this season, but is still expected to be an active member of the team, especially in regard to filling his role as one of the two team captains.

In the official press release from Go Heels, head coach Scott Forbes commented on the season-ending injury to his ace.

"We are certainly going to miss Jake's presence on the mound. He worked extremely hard during the offseason and was poised to have a terrific senior season. Jake will still be with us at practice, in the dugout and on road trips. He's one of our captains and leaders and will be a vital part of our team this year."

The Diamond Heels don't have much time to sort out its rotation, as opening day is scheduled for February 16. Although the loss of Knapp is a huge one for the Tar Heels, it also serves as an opportunity for others to step up, as it likely will take more than one arm to fill the void.

Next. North Carolina launches official NIL store. North Carolina launches official NIL store. dark