Multiple highly ranked North Carolina college baseball teams have hopes for a successful 2024 season.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons currently hold the number one ranking in the NCAA Division I Associated Press preseason poll. Four other North Carolina schools also earned spots in the Top 25: East Carolina University, Duke, North Carolina State, and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

This concentration of top talent gives North Carolina five teams ranked in the top 15 nationally as the new season starts. Neighboring South Carolina also boasts three teams in the AP Top 25 poll: Clemson, the University of South Carolina, and Coastal Carolina University.

Launch of Legal North Carolina Sports Betting Adds Interest The launch of legal online sports betting in North Carolina happens on March 11, 2024. For the first time, bettors can now place legal online wagers on in-state college baseball teams to win the College World Series using North Carolina sports betting apps.

As an added incentive to sign up, sportsbooks like BetMGM North Carolina offer attractive promos and bonuses for new users through special North Carolina sportsbook promos and bonus codes.

Pitching Strength Boosts Wake Forest to #1

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons earned unanimous first place votes to secure the number one position in the 2024 preseason baseball poll. Wake Forest took the overall top seed last year as well before entering the College World Series tournament.

During 2023, the team held the number one ranking at different points based on polls from Baseball America, the NCAA Division I college baseball coaches, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

The 2023 Deacons advanced to the College World Series semifinals before losing to eventual champion Louisiana State University. Their overall 54-12 record and school-best marks for total wins and Atlantic Coast Conference victories made the semifinal exit a disappointment for supportive fans who expected a championship finals appearance.

Wake Forest enters 2024 as the betting favorite to claim the title this year. A pitching staff that set Division I records with 779 strikeouts and a 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings rate fuels high expectations. Ten shutouts thrown by the nation’s best staff provide further evidence of their dominance.

Junior left-hander Josh Hartle, the Deacon’s ace, allowed only one run over almost six innings in his 2024 season debut, showcasing the excellence he displayed recording a 9-3 record as a sophomore.

Duke, ECU, NC State, UNC Round Out Top Teams

Four other highly ranked North Carolina schools join Wake Forest as 2024 College World Series contenders.

East Carolina University fields an experienced pitching staff led by likely first round MLB draft pick Trey Yesavage. Coach Cliff Godwin can also utilize talented left hander Zach Root and choose between several capable bullpen arms to build strong starting rotations.

The Duke University Blue Devils entered 2023 ranked number ten nationally and return multiple quality pitchers. Lefty Jonathan Santucci underwent elbow surgery but looks to regain his sophomore year form. Standout reliever Fran Oschell III could also transition into a starting role after earning All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors last season.

North Carolina State University restocked its lineup through the transfer portal after losing three 2023 starting position players. Infielder/outfielder Garrett Pennington comes over from Wichita State bringing standout hitting talent and extensive experience. His addition should bolster the middle of the Wolfpack batting order.

Finally, the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Tar Heels aim to improve after a regional round exit ended their 2023 championship chase prematurely. Fourth year coach Scott Forbes boasts a deep lineup capable of contending for an Atlantic Coast Conference title against imposing competition.

The 2024 college baseball season promises excitement with North Carolina schools taking center stage in the national title picture. Wake Forest and defending champion LSU lead the way as top contenders, but upsets happen every year on the path to Omaha. Bettors and fans eagerly anticipate March Madness giving way to May Magic in college baseball.

✅ Fact Checked on February 24, 2024 by Ken Weaver