Now, Bolt is quickly making his mark on the college level at North Carolina.
The freshman right fielder has a chance to win a national championship in his first collegiate season after the Tar Heels qualified for the College World Series, which begins Saturday in Omaha, Neb.
Bolt and his UNC teammates begin their bid for the national title against ACC archrival N.C. State Sunday.
“It’s definitely been a dream of mine since I first started playing college baseball,” Bolt said. “I’ve been [to the College World Series] two times as a fan and it has definitely made this experience surreal, because I told myself that I wanted to play here one day and getting off the plane [in Omaha] – just realizing it’s all coming true – words just can’t describe it. It’s good to see all the pieces fall into place.”
With UNC (57-10) the favorite to win the tournament as the top seed, a national title is very much a possibility for Bolt.
“I think we are in the best possible position that we can be in,” Bolt said. “The team, right now, is starting to heat up. It’s the dawn before the sun, so to speak.”
Bolt played a big role in Carolina advancing to the College World Series – its sixth appearance in eight years.
In UNC’s Super Regional series with South Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., he drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth in the Tar Heels’ 6-5 Game 1 victory June 8 and scored the winning run himself in their 5-4 win in the decisive third and final contest June 11.
“It was a team effort all the way through,” Bolt said. “I haven’t been playing my best ball, but it just comes down to who makes the fewest mistakes and capitalizes on all those small things we can do right. For me, I was in the right situation at the right time.”
The trip to the College World Series caps off what has been an outstanding freshman season for Bolt, who is hitting .330 with six home runs and 50 RBIs in 50 games played.
He went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a double in Carolina’s 12-4 victory over Maryland April 5 and was 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs in the Tar Heels’ 15-3 win over Elon April 9.
The only negative part of the season for Bolt was missing 17 games with after breaking the third metatarsal bone in his right foot after fouling off a pitch on it during a game with Virginia Tech in March.
For North Carolina coach Mike Fox, Bolt is a key part of the Tar Heels’ drive to the national title.
“Skye has been a very valuable member of our team this year,” Fox said. “I am excited that he and the other freshmen on our team are able to experience Omaha for the first time.”
Former Holy Innocents’ baseball coach Dylan Deal, who coached Bolt for four years before stepping down after the 2012 season, said he is proud of what his former standout has accomplished on the college level.
“Skye embodies the words of George Bernard Shaw: ‘As long as I can conceive something better, I cannot be east unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it,’” Deal said. “This goes for on and off the field. He deserves his success. He has worked hard for it and has done right by everybody on his path.”