OMAHA, Neb. – Alex White went seven-plus innings and allowed three runs on four hits while striking out six as second-seeded North Carolina picked up an 8-4 victory over seventh-seed LSU at the Men’s College World Series, Sunday night.
North Carolina (52-12) advances to the winners’ bracket where the Tar Heels will face Fresno State at 7p.m. Tuesday. LSU (48-18-1) will face Rice in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
White gave up leadoff home runs in both the first and second innings, but then allowed only one more hit through the seventh inning. After the leadoff home run in the second inning, White retired 12 of the next 14 hitters he faced as the North Carolina offense extended the lead to 8-2.
After Michael Hollander’s home run to lead off the game gave the Tigers an early lead, North Carolina answered with three runs in its half of the first. Three straight singles loaded the bases and a walk to Tar Heel cleanup hitter Tim Federowicz tied the game. Kyle Seager then singled, and Chad Flack’s sacrifice fly made it 3-1 after one inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, North Carolina took advantage of an LSU error and had three singles to push across a pair of runs and go up 5-2. Single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings by the Tar Heels gave UNC an 8-2 advantage.
LSU rallied in the top of the eighth. After a leadoff bunt single by Hollander, White was replaced by reliever Brian Moran, who allowed a pair of singles and a walk to cut the lead to 8-3. Moran, however, was able to strike out Clark with the bases loaded for the first out of the inning. Rob Wooten then replaced Moran and induced an RBI groundout before getting a double play to end the threat.
The loss for LSU was its fifth-straight at the MCWS and the Tigers have not won an MCWS game since winning the national title in 2000. Meanwhile, North Carolina won its MCWS opener for the third straight year.