CARY, N.C. - Kyle Seager and Tim Federowicz hit back-to-back homers in the fourth inning to support Alex White's strong start and lift North Carolina past North Carolina-Wilmington 5-1 on Saturday in the NCAA Cary Regional.
White (9-3), a former DH Conley standout, threw a three-hitter and struck out eight for the top-seeded Tar Heels (48-12). The tournament's No. 2 overall seed moved within one victory of its third straight regional championship.
Jeff Hatcher (6-2) scattered seven hits and struck out a career-high nine, but managed to lose for the second time in three weeks for the No. 2 seed Seahawks (43-16-1), who were held well below their average of 8.5 runs.
Now they face a Sunday rematch with third-seeded Elon in an elimination game, with the winner sticking around to play North Carolina. UNC Wilmington beat Elon 5-2 in the opener.
Seager finished with three RBIs for the Tar Heels, who took control with a two-out power surge in the fourth.
Seager lined a 1-2 pitch from Hatcher over the wall in right field to score Tim Fedroff. Federowicz followed by sending a 1-2 pitch out to left-center, pushing the lead to 4-0.
That was more than enough offense for White, the Atlantic Coast Conference's pitcher of the year who seemed determined to make up for his postseason shortcomings last year as a freshman by having his way with one of the nation's highest-scoring offenses.
White, who was 0-3 with a 13.80 ERA during the Tar Heels' 2007 run to the College World Series, retired the first seven hitters he faced _ striking out five of them _ and allowed only one runner to reach third base.
That came in the fifth, when UNC Wilmington scored its only run. Nate Hall led off with a double, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on Jes Snyder's sacrifice fly to make it 4-1.
North Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the first when Dustin Ackley scored on Fedroff's double-play groundout.
Seager added a run-scoring sacrifice fly in the sixth to restore North Carolina's four-run lead.
UNC Wilmington fell to 12-46 all-time against the Tar Heels.
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