Jack Flaherty ’14 had never thought about playing baseball at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill until he visited the campus last spring for the USA Baseball National High School Invitational tournament in Cary, N.C..
“Once I stepped on campus, it felt like the right place,” Flaherty said.
Flaherty verbally committed to play for the Tar Heels on Sept. 26. He will join teammate Arden Pabst ’13, a Georgia Tech commit, in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Flaherty was also interested in UCLA, UCSB, USC and Vanderbilt to play college ball.
“Committing is a huge weight off my shoulders,” Flaherty said. “Not having all the eyes watching me, and having a great plan I can rely on is very comforting.”
Flaherty, who was a starting pitcher in his freshman and sophomore years, moved up to the No. 2 spot in the Wolverines’ rotation last season after former ace and current Washington Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito ’12 suffered a season-ending injury.
Flaherty went 6-1 on the mound with a 1.77 ERA in 51.1 innings, the second highest total on the team. He also batted .397 last season with two home runs and 13 RBIs.
Flaherty may have to make another decision come MLB draft time if he has to decide whether to follow the career path of Max Fried ’12 and Giolito to the MLB, or that of Austin Wilson ’10, who passed on the MLB to play baseball at Stanford.
“Hopefully, things will progress and I’ll be able to put myself in the position to make another tough decision,” Flaherty said.