Colleges

Triangle teams meet in CWS in elimination game

Posted June 19, 2013
Updated June 20, 2013

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels, No. 1 seed in the College World Series, will face neighboring North Carolina State University Thursday in an elimination game at 8:00 p.m. ET (ESPN) at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The game will be broadcast on 620 AM The Buzz starting at 7:55 p.m.

NC State (50-15, 19-10) has outscored North Carolina, 17-13, in the four games the teams have played this season. The season series is tied at two, and the winner will not only survive elimination but gain in-state bragging rights.

The Tar Heels eliminated Louisiana State University, 4-2, Tuesday behind a stellar pitching performance from freshman right-hander Trent Thornton. North Carolina started out strong offensively with a two-run home run by junior Brian Holberton in the first inning, and Colin Moran hit the eventual game-winning RBI in the third inning. Thornton allowed seven hits and two runs over seven innings on 114 pitches. In their first CWS appearance since winning the 2009 championship, LSU (57-11, 23-7) failed to win a game in Omaha.

The UCLA Bruins edged the Wolfpack, 2-1, Tuesday after a two-run fifth inning and an outstanding pitching performance by starter Nick Vander Tuig and closer David Berg. Berg earned his NCAA record-tying 23rd save of the season and Vander Tuig improved to 13-4. UCLA’s Brenton Allen scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch by NC State’s reliever Grant Sasser in the fifth. The Wolfpack’s bullpen, Grant Sasser and Josh Easley, did not allow a run in their combined 4 2/3 innings of work.

The Wolfpack have won 50 games for the first time in their program’s history.

North Carolina (58-11, 21-7) has not lost consecutive games all season. The Tar Heels are 11-0 after a loss and have outscored opponents, 85-30. They are looking to become the second team in school history (the other came in 1953) to not suffer back-to-back losses in a season.

Junior Hobbs Johnson will take the mound for North Carolina Thursday. The left-hander has a 4-1 record and an ERA of 2.62 with an impressive .200 opponent batting average in 79 innings. Johnson did not give up a home run all season.

The Wolfpack will go with freshman Brad Stone. The left-handed pitcher has a 6-3 record with an ERA of 5.28. In 58 innings pitched Stone has struck out 59 batters, allowed 34 earned runs and 54 hits.

The winner will face UCLA (46-17, 21-9) Friday at 8:00 p.m. ET and would have to win two straight against the Bruins to advance to the championship series. If necessary the second game against UCLA is scheduled for Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in Omaha.

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  • Hokies94 Jun 20, 8:39 p.m.

    Rodon will only come in if this game is on the line. Avent is thinking on down the road.

    — Posted by Hokies94

    So which is it? First you say Rodon will only play if State is in trouble. Then, you say Avent... View More

    — Posted by NothingButNet

    Avent played his cards to win. He surprised the media and UNC's coaching staff. He is doing what most coaches do. Save it until the bitter end.

  • Hokies94 Jun 20, 8:31 p.m.

    Surprise.

  • Hokies94 Jun 20, 8:28 p.m.

    I think it was a cheap move on Avent's part to say one thing and do another.

    — Posted by StunGunn

    With all due respect JGunn. If I may respond to you in this one. No harm nor foul. It's simply a tool to use to gain a slight edge. One advantage to win the most serious game in his entire career. He used this just like Coach K and Dean, Roy, and all of the best have. It's not a cheap move. Just being a little more savvy. He knew all along that Rodon was rested. He did make UNC change their batting line-up.

  • daren9 Jun 20, 8:24 p.m.

    Gunn I agree with you but that is State for you. That is why they will never be great in any sport because all they care about is beating carolina.

  • NothingButNet Jun 20, 8:23 p.m.

    Rodon will only come in if this game is on the line. Avent is thinking on down the road.

    — Posted by Hokies94

    So which is it? First you say Rodon will only play if State is in trouble. Then, you say Avent was playing the media.

  • StunGunn Jun 20, 8:19 p.m.

    I think it was a cheap move on Avent's part to say one thing and do another.

  • Hokies94 Jun 20, 8:16 p.m.

    Embarrassing for Avent to start rodon. But it sums up the mentality of state fan...try to beat... View More

    — Posted by clete

    Some of these are hard to figure. Avent will play the man if things get tricky. Rodon is being... View More

    — Posted by Hokies94

    Rodon starting. Who was right? Dr. Yow made this call, believe it.

    — Posted by sickofblackleaders

    It's like I stated earlier, Avent was holding his cards for the media. And. Now, to see the line-up. He had UNC's line-up and he knew what he was going to do. He fooled the media, and maybe UNC too. Debbie Yow didn't have a darn thing to do with this one. I would surmise that she supports him more than any coach up there; right now. Avent is a total winner. Baseball is still a minor Sport and they don't make much money. But, she doesn't tell Avent what to do.

  • daren9 Jun 20, 8:07 p.m.

    I meant war not wat.

  • daren9 Jun 20, 8:06 p.m.

    What does that say for the rest of State's pitchers. State might win the battle tonight but not the wat tomorrow night.

  • sickofblackleaders Jun 20, 8:05 p.m.

    Nothing matters as beating UNC.

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