As the 2022 fall practice gets underway, GoHeels.com will continue its chat with members of the Diamond Heels to catch up on their summer activities.
Junior Mac Horvath spent the summer playing for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League. In 25 games, Horvath smacked seven home runs, collected 17 RBIs and swiped 12 bases with an OPS of .823, while helping Bourne win the the Cape Cod League championship.
GH: After game one of the Super Regional, you had to go undergo an emergency appendectomy. How are you feeling and what was the recovery process like?
MH: It was two weeks of doing nothing. Not lifting, not running; just hanging out. From there I just worked out at home for two more weeks, and then from there went to the Cape [Cod League]. I felt pretty good when I got there. It just took a couple of games to kind of get back into it. My timing was a little off, but my body felt fine.
GH: This summer you played with the Bourne Braves of Cape Cod League after playing in the Northwoods League last summer. What’s the difference between the two leagues?
MH: In the Northwoods League, we played around 70 games during the regular season; there were no days off. I remember last year we played 27 days in a row before we had an off day. In the cape, after eight, nine, or 10 days, you’ll get a day off. That’s one of the bigger differences.
The pitchers are consistently higher Velo guys too.
GH: How does the overall competition of the Cape compare to the ACC?
MH: It’s comparable to what we’ll see during the season. A lot of the guys are from the ACC, SEC, and the Big Ten; there are a lot of good players from everywhere.
GH: What were some of the areas that you tried to work on over the summer?
MH: For the first part I was trying to get back into it and not focus on anything result-oriented. Once I got comfortable, I tried to focus on driving the ball the other way.
GH: What about defensively?
MH: I played the outfield; right field, and center field. The last time I played the outfield was in high school, but it was fun. I didn’t have any opportunity to do anything crazy like layout out for a ball or throw anyone out, but I was able to track down some balls.
GH: What’s the biggest difference between playing the outfield and third base?
MH: After the game when I was in the outfield, I wasn’t as mentally drained as I would get playing third base. I was thinking so much at third base, I would be mentally exhausted after games. It was more relaxed in the outfield because there is more time to react.
GH: How do you feel like this summer is going to make you a better player in 2023?
MH: Playing against the best competition out there and then doing well gives me the confidence to keep going forward, staying confident in myself and my abilities.
GH: How much did it help you to have Will Sandy and Thomas Frick on your team?
MH: It was it was amazing. It’s tough to go and play for a new team, especially when you don’t know anybody. But when you have two teammates that you’ve been around for a couple of years, it makes it a lot easier of a transition.
GH: What did you miss the most about Chapel Hill?
MH: Going out [to the Bosh] every single day Whether it was practice or a game, being together with those guys and competing was awesome. Last year was the most fun I ever had playing baseball.
GH: What was it like to jump out of an airplane and go skydiving?
MH: It was an awesome experience. We back flipped out to play and then we started spinning and I’m not good with spinning. I was fine until he pulled the chute, and we started going back and forth. That’s what got me.
GH: What are you most looking forward to about fall practice?
MH: Continuing to get better, working together with the guys that are back – we’ve got a good core group of guys – and then working with these freshmen to see what we can do as a team to improve on. We want to come together and really buy in, so when the spring comes around, we all know what our goal is and we’re just focused on one thing and winning.