UNC, ECU and Duke advance to Super Regional round
Several North Carolina colleges were in action over this past weekend, fighting for the right to advance to the College World Series.
The Tar Heels of UNC are one of those teams, and after sweeping their way through the Chapel Hill Regional, they'll now get to host Auburn in a best of three Super Regional series. Game One of the Chapel Hill Regional pitted UNC against UNCW. Tyler Baum, drafted Monday by the Oakland Athletics in the second round, got the start for the Heels, but did not have his best stuff. Luckily for him, the bullpen was able to combine for 3 and 2/3 innings of strong relief allowing only one run while preserving a 7-6 victory.
The bats came alive for UNC in game two as they pounded Liberty by a final of 16-1. Michael Busch, who was selected 31st overall in the draft by the Dodgers Monday, had two hits including a home run. Centerfielder Dylan Harris was 3-5 with a homer as the offense totaled 16 hits in the contest. In the finale, Austin Bergner shut down Tennessee by completing 7 innings while allowing only 2 earned runs.
East Carolina University will also be advancing to the Super Regional round, though their path proved to be a bit more difficult than that of UNC. In fact, it took the Pirate five games to win the Greenville regional.
They lost Game One to Quinnipiac 5-4, before reeling off four straight wins. The Pirates beat N.C. State 9-2 in Game Two Sunday before taking revenge on Quinnipiac later that night by eliminating them 13-3. Next up would be a Monday matchup with Campbell. ECU beat them 10-3, forcing a second game which ECU would also win, this time by a final of 12-3.
ECU placed four different players on the All-Regional team, as outfielders Alec Burleson and Bryant Packard both earned nods. Joining them were starting pitcher Jake Agnos as well as catcher Jake Washer who also claimed Most Outstanding Player honors. ECU will now go on the road to Louisville in a Super Regional matchup that begins Friday.
The Wolfpack of NC State did not fare as well as rivals ECU or UNC. In fact, the Pack was eliminated in the minimum two games after losing to both Campbell and ECU. The Pack's season ends with an overall record of 42-19. As a consolation, starting shortstop Will Wilson did get selected by the Angels with the 19th pick in the 1st round.
Campbell fought hard and made it all the way to the championship game of the Greenville Regional before losing to ECU 12-3. Prior to that, the Camels beat NC State 5-4 and Quinnipiac 9-8. Unfortunately for Campbell, ECU's home field advantage was too much to overcome in Monday's double header. Campbell had a strong showing and placed five members on the All-Regional team including Koby Collins, Luis Gimenez, Matthew Barefoot, Spencer Packard, and Michael Horrell. Campbell wraps up their 2019 campaign with an overall record of 37-21.
The Duke Blue Devils will also be advancing to the Super Regional. Next up for Duke will be a three-game series at Vanderbilt. Duke was able to advance by knocking off Texas A&M twice as well as the hosting Mountaineers of West Virginia. Duke placed Erikson Nichols, Bryce Jarvis, Chris Crabtree, Ben Gross and Kyle Gallagher on the All-Regional team.