NORMAN, OKLA. --- Bobby Shore pitched 7.1 strong innings to lead Oklahoma past North Carolina 3-2 Sunday night in game six of the Norman Regional at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
Shore (9-4) allowed just two runs on four hits to advance the Sooners to the next round of the NCAA Tournament. Jeremey Erben registered his fourth save of the season as Oklahoma improves to 47-16 overall.
The Tar Heels finish the season 38-22. Starter Jimmy Messer allowed one run in four innings. Michael Morin (5-3) suffers the loss, rendering the go-ahead run in the in 1.2 innings. Colin Bates was brilliant in two innings of shutout relief, notching five strikeouts.
Seniors Mike Cavasinni and Ryan Graepel paced Carolina offensively. Cavasinni notched a base hit and Graepel added two hits including a solo home run. Sophomore Seth Baldwin also notched a single and one RBI.
The Tar Heels used a double play to escape a jam in the top of the second. Brian Goodwin caught a shallow fly ball in right and rifled a throw into Stallings at the plate, who absorbed a collision from Tyler Ogle, for a the second out to end the half inning.
Carolina took advantage of a Sooner error in the bottom of the frame to push in front 1-0. Baldwin ripped a two-out single to drive in Goodwin, who reach on the error, and give Carolina an early lead.
The Sooners evened the score at one in the fourth plating one run on two hits. A bunt single off the bat of Danny Black allowed Cameron Seitzer to cross the plate tying the score after four frames.
Reliever Greg Holt continued to wriggle out of jams, inheriting two runners with no outs in the fifth. The junior induced groundball that Levi Michael turned into a 5-3 double play and then registered a big strikeout to end the inning.
The Sooners took their first lead of the game in the sixth after Black doubled in Ogle. The one run lead was short-lived as Graepel lined a home run over the left field fence to knot the score at two in the bottom of the frame.
Oklahoma regained the lead in the seventh at 3-2. Cody Reine connected for an infield RBI single to give the Sooners a narrow one run lead. Shore stymied the Tar Heels through seven frames allowing just two hits and five base runners.
Bates escaped a tough spot in the eighth, inheriting a runner at third with no outs and issuing a walk to his first batter. The junior then settled in to strike out three straight Sooners, two looking, keeping the Tar Heels within one run.
The Tar Heels threatened in the eighth after back-to-back singles from seniors Cavasinni and Graepel. Sooner reliever Erben retired two Heels in a row to end the threat and preserve the one run lead entering the ninth.
Carolina earned a base runner in the ninth, but Erben proved too much sealing the victory for the Sooners.
Oklahoma will advance to face the winner of the Charlottesville (Va.) Regional between St. John's and Virginia.
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