College Baseball: Tar Heels favored
CHAPEL HILLó North Carolina is looking to begin the march to a fourth-straight College World Series on Friday.
The Tar Heels are hosting a four-team NCAA baseball regional for the fourth straight year. Top-seeded North Carolina (42-16) face fourth-seeded Dartmouth (27-16) in their first game at the double elimination Chapel Hill Regional.
“We’ve got guys that have been to Omaha three years in a row,” first baseman Dustin Ackley said. “They know how to get there, and they know what to do to get the job done. I think that’ll definitely help the younger guys.”
In the other first-round matchup, No. 3 seed Kansas (27-16) plays No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina (46-14).
The clear advantage at cozy Boshamer Stadium this weekend figures to go to the Tar Heels, who also were awarded the No. 4 national seed which means they will host a best-of-three super regional series if they win their regional tournament.
They’ve never lost in the regional round when they’re the home team, winning each of their nine games during the past three seasons, and are 32-10 in NCAA play under coach Mike Fox.
The path to a fourth consecutive berth in the super regionals figures to go through a familiar opponent, Coastal Carolina. North Carolina defeated the Chanticleers in last year’s super regional in nearby Cary to earn its third straight CWS appearance.
Coastal Carolina enters having won three straight and 14 of 15, and won the Big South title for the 10th time.