UNC SENDS 'EM PACKING
North Carolina eliminated Wolfpack from the College World Series 7-0 Thursday night behind the big bats of Michael Russell, Colin Moran Mike Zolk and the pitching of lefthander Hobbs Johnson.
Johnson pitched 8 1/3 shutout innings before leaving with a 7-0 lead and two runners on in the ninth.
The Tar Heels broke a scoreless tie when they got to Wolfpack ace Carlos Rodon for single runs in the fourth — an RBI sacrifice fly by Russell — and fifth innings — an RBI single by Moran.
Russell broke open the game with a two-out, two-run single off State relief pitcher Ryan Wilkins in the top of the eighth. Zolk immediately extended the lead to 6-0 with a two-run double off D.J. Thomas, who’d relieved Wilkins.
Moran singled in the seventh run in the top of the ninth.
The win came in the fifth meeting between the Tobacco Road rivals this season and gave the Tar Heels the overall edge 3-2.
The Tar Heels, 2-1 in the double-elimination CWS, move on to play unbeaten UCLA (2-0) at 8 tonight in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN.
UNC must beat UCLA twice, tonight and in a final game Saturday, if necessary, to advance to Monday night’s best-of-three CWS championship series. UCLA moves on with a win either tonight or Saturday over the Tar Heels.