In a season full of extra innings, postponed contests and 57 wins (so far), the North Carolina Tar Heels have always found a way to come out on top. After torrential rain caused Game 3 of the Chapel Hill Super Regional to be moved to Tuesday afternoon, the boys in blue showed their neighbors down south who the real Carolina is (recognized by 49 states), defeating border rival South Carolina 5-4 at Boshamer Stadium.
But what’s so amazing isn’t that the team’s postseason hopes are still alive. After all, they’ve been ranked #1 in the country almost the entire year and were the #1 seed in the tournament. No, most remarkable is the streak that the Tar Heels take with them as they set off for their sixth College World Series since 2006, and tenth overall- they haven’t lost two games in a row all season. That’s not just tough to do, it’s nearly impossible.
After trailing Rice 4-1 in the ninth inning, NC State came back to tie the game on Jake Fincher’s double and took the lead for good in the top of the 17th when Brett Williams doubled in Taran Senay. And with that, the Wolfpack punched their ticket to Omaha for the College World Series for the first time since 1968. Ethan Ogburn pitched the last 5 innings and got the win for the Pack, allowing three hits and no runs during that span. And no, this correspondent was unable to stay awake for all of it, giving up during the rain delay and delaying his elation until checking the score this morning.
With the win, the Wolfpack awaits the result of the Chapel Hill Super Regional between UNC and South Carolina, currently deadlocked at 1-1.
Other ACC team results:
Clemson: Eliminated in Regionals
Virginia Tech: Eliminated in Regionals
Georgia Tech: Eliminated in Regionals
Miami: Eliminated in Regionals
Florida State: Upset by Indiana 2-0 in Super Regional
Virginia: Tied 1-1 with Mississippi State in Super Regional
Louisville: Advanced to CWS with upset sweep of Vanderbilt
The regionals are complete and now its on to the super regionals. This is the last stop before Omaha and the College World Series. So far there hasn’t been any real surprises this year, aka Kent State last year. There has been only two upsets with the biggest being Oregon, who was the #8 national seed, being knocked out by Rice. The other is Virginia Tech being knocked out by Oklahoma. Top national seed North Carolina was taken to extra innings by Fla Atlantic in an elimination game but other than that it has been chalk.
The ACC will have their four remaining teams play host in the super regionals while Louisville, a future ACC member, has also earned a spot. The SEC also has four teams remaining but only two of them will be hosting. The Big 12 and the Pac 12 each has two teams remaining. The next round of games will be a beast of three series which will run from Friday, June 7 until Monday, June 10.
Here is a run down on the super regionals.
Baseballs post season was set Monday afternoon and North Carolina incredible season was rewarded with the #1 national seed. The other national seeds in order are Vanderbilt, Oregon St, LSU, Cal St Fullerton, Virginia, Florida St and Oregon.
North Carolina (52-8) won its first regular season champion since 1990 and it’s coach Mike Fox’s program first #1 seed. They have been a top 8 seed 6 of the last 7 years. They are the only team in the nation that hasn’t lost consecutive games this season. They will open their bid to be the first top seeded team to win the championship since the 1999 Miami team against Canisius (42-15), who is making their first appearance in the tournament.
The Louisville Cardinals (46-12) will begin their quest to make it to Omaha for the first time since 2007 against Bowling Green (24-29) on Friday at 6pm. They missed out on a national seed but they will host the regional. Also in their region is future ACC foe Miami (36-23) who has made the tournament for a record 41st straight year.
The SEC led all conferences with a record-tying 9 bids. The ACC received 8 while the Pac 12 and Sun Belt received 4 bids each. The committee snubbed the Big East by handing out only 2 bids, to Louisville and UConn. Although the SEC received more bids, the ACC has the upper hand with 5 teams playing host, not including Louisville, while the SEC has only 4 teams hosting a regional. Also the ACC received more national seeds than the SEC, 3-2.
The tournament opens this Friday with 16 four team double-elimination regionals. Those winners will advance to next weeks best of 3 super regionals. The remaining 8 teams will then be broken down into 2 double-elimination brackets in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. Here is a look at the regionals and super regional line up. Read more…
And the good news just keeps coming for the Tar Heels, as the North Carolina Women’s Lacrosse team defeated the previously undefeated Maryland Terrapins in 3OT Sunday night for program’s first NCAA National Championship. Sammy Jo Tracy scored the deciding goal just 31 seconds into triple-overtime to give North Carolina the 13-12 advantage and end the game against their longtime ACC rival.
After nearly 50 innings in 3 days, North Carolina’s hard work finally paid off. They can finally rest (and they need to) as 2013 ACC Baseball Champions. In a game that was exciting, but never truly in doubt, the Tar Heels defeated the Hokies 4-1 in front of an ACC Championship record crowd of 8,697 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. It was the perfect way to cap an unusual, and record-setting weekend in college baseball’s most-exciting conference.
The Pitt Panthers came up short in their attempt to win the BE baseball tourney on Saturday after a 10 inning 3-2 loss to Notre Dame. With an RPI of 65 the loss leaves Pitt on the bubble for the NCAA tournament. They will now have to wait until Monday for the field to be announced to learn their fait. I believe that a second place finish in the BE should be enough to get them in.
Pitts two losses of the tourney came against Notre Dame with errors at critical moments of the game. A pair of crucial errors help to lead them to a 5-3 defeat in their earlier meeting and Pitt committed 5 errors in Saturdays game.
Pitt looked poised to take the lead in the top of the 9th when they had base-runners on first and second but a controversial call stalled their rally. Notre Dame pitcher Nick McCarty threw the ball to first in an attempt to pick off the runner but the throw went into the first base stands. Both runners took two bases on the error which scored the runner from second and gave Pitt the lead but the umpires told the runners to back up a base, putting runners at second and third instead and taking the run off of the board. Pitt coach Joe Jordano protested but after a meeting from the umpires the call was upheld. The ruling made was that the pitcher threw over to first base while still in contact with the rubber which limited both runners to one base. If he had left the rubber then the runners would have been given two bases each. The first base umpire ruled that the pitcher did disengage the rubber but was over ruled by the third and home plate umpires. Still Pitt was in scoring position with one out but the next batter popped out to third and the following batter struck out to retire the side.
The bottom of the 10th started horribly for Pitt as Evan Oswald booted a ground ball from ND Charlie Markson. This was followed by Dylan Wolsonovich error on a grounder by Frank DeSico which gave ND two base runners with no outs. ND bunted the runners up to second and third and Pitt intentionally walked the next batter to load the bases and to set up a double play possibility. Instead Ryan Bull hit a sharp single to center to score the winning run.
The sixth seeded Notre Dame will take on eighth seeded Connecticut for the championship on Sunday.
Pitt is only 99 days away from their ACC and season opener on Labor Day against Florida State at Heinz Field. This will probably be one of their biggest season openers in recent memory.
If the ACC were to end the football season with a rivalry game, who would best fit that role for Pitt? Virginia Tech? Miami? Boston College? Penn St? Some other team? What are your thoughts?
Just moments ago, Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech in the 3:00pm game of the ACC Baseball Championship. The Hokies advance to the finals on Sunday for the first time ever, already boasting more wins in this year’s tournament (3) than they have ever achieved since they joined the conference in 2004. Virginia Tech’s opponent for Sunday’s game is still to be determined, but is likely to be decided tomorrow night in the 7:00pm sellout (standing room only was running out when I left the stadium) tilt between North Carolina and North Carolina State. Read more…