NCAA Baseball: UNC wins; Wolfpack falls
CARY ó Mike Fox was giving a postgame interview when his players doused him with two coolers of sports drink. For North Carolina’s coach, there was no more refreshing way to cap his weekend ó and not just because of the near-100-degree temperatures.
Fox and the Tar Heels are headed back to the College World Series, wrapping up their third straight trip to Omaha with a 14-4 rout of Coastal Carolina on Sunday behind six innings of two-hit ball from Adam Warren.
“We were all dreaming it, but it’s so hard to get there,” Fox said.
Dustin Ackley drove in three runs, Warren took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and every starter had at least one hit. The Tar Heels (51-12) scored six runs in the second, led 12-0 in the sixth and then celebrated their latest berth in Omaha by dogpiling behind the mound and giving their coach another victory bath.
“It’s getting to the point where we are kind of expected to get there,” catcher Tim Federowicz said. “And that’s where we want to be with this program.”
Next up: The winner of the Baton Rouge Super Regional ó either UC-Irvine or LSU ó next weekend at Rosenblatt Stadium.
One day after hard-throwing Alex White dominated the Chanticleers’ hitters in a series-opening 9-4 victory, it was Warren’s turn to show why the Tar Heels boast the nation’s best pitching staff.
He struck out three and lost his no-hitter with two outs in the fifth when second baseman Kyle Seager lost Tyler Bortnick’s pop-up in the sun, before he was relieved in the seventh by Colin Bates. Warren (9-1) won his third straight decision and earn his first victory of the NCAA tournament.
“His pitch sequences, along with him really staying around the zone, just really kept us off balance,” Chanticleers center fielder David Sappelt said. “It got kind of frustrating ó you ended up having to swing at pitches that maybe are there, maybe are not.”
Federowicz also drove in three runs and Tim Fedroff and Garrett Gore had two RBIs apiece for North Carolina, which improved to 5-0 in the NCAAs and outscored its opponents 51-20 in two straight weekend sweeps. Their last loss in the tournament came last June in Omaha, where they were beaten by Oregon State in the championship series for the second straight year.
“We’ve got some unfinished business to take care of,” reliever Rob Wooten said.
Bortnick broke up the shutout, starting a four-run seventh with a two-run single off Bates for Coastal Carolina (50-14).
Georgia 17, N.C. State 8
ATHENS, Ga. ó Gordon Beckham homered twice and Georgia scored nine first-inning runs in a 17-8 victory Sunday over North Carolina State that gave the Bulldogs a College World Series berth for the third time in five years.
Georgia (41-23-1), which has won six of seven, improved to 16-0 in NCAA elimination games at Foley Field.
N.C. State (42-22) was trying to advance to the College World Series for the second time in school history and the first since 1968.
Wolfpack starter Eric Surkamp (5-3) failed to retire a batter, giving up three hits, five runs and two walks.
Florida State 11, Wichita State 4
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Jack Rye’s 3-run homer capped a six-run first inning and Florida State reached the College World Series for the first time since 2000 with a victory over Wichita State.
The Seminoles (54-12), who have never won the national title, are headed back to college baseball’s biggest stage for the 13th time in coach Mike Martin’s 29 seasons.
Miami 4, Arizona 2
CORAL GABLES, Fla. ó Yonder Alonso homered and Enrique Garcia pitched six effective innings as Miami defeated Arizona 4-2 to advance to their 23rd College World Series.
The three runs in the first inning were all the Hurricanes (52-9) needed to win the final two games of the super regional series.
LSU 9, UC Irvine 7
BATON ROUGE, La. ó LSU staged a huge ninth-inning rally to beat UC Irvine 9-7 hold off elimination. Trailing 7-4, LSU loaded the bases with no one out, then scored five runs on four hits.