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June 18, 2013Brian Holberton's two-run first-inning homer was the difference as North Carolina defeated LSU 4-2 in an elimination game of the College World Series on Tuesday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha.
HOW THEY SCORED
North Carolina first inning - With two out, Colin Moran singled. Holberton hit a two-run homer over the rightfield fence. NORTH CAROLINA 2, LSU 0
North Carolina third inning - Landon Lassiter doubled. Moran singled home Lassiter. NORTH CAROLINA 3, LSU 0
LSU fifth inning - With one out, Sean McMullen and Mark Laird singled. After Alex Bregman struck out, Mason Katz singled home McMullen. NORTH CAROLINA 3, LSU 1
North Carolina seventh inning - Moran singled and moved to second on a bunt by Holberton. After Cody Stubbs popped out to Bregman at shortstop, Skye Bolt singled home Moran. NORTH CAROLINA 4, LSU 1
LSU seventh inning - McMullen doubled and moved to third on a single by Laird. McMullen scored when Bregman hit into a 6-4-3 double play. NORTH CAROLINA 4, LSU 2
LSU MISSED SCORING OPPORTUNITIES
First inning - With two out, Bregman and Katz walked. Raph Rhymes flied out to rightfield.
Third inning - Andrew Stevenson singled. After McMullen lined out to third base, Laird singled. Bregman forced Laird at second base with a ground ball to the pitcher. A walk to Katz loaded the bases. Rhymes popped out to second base.
Eighth inning - Christian Ibarra walked. After Ty Ross lined out to second base, JaCoby Jones singled. After Tyler Moore flied out to leftfield, McMullen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Laird flied out to leftfield.
Laird enjoyed two outstanding games at the plate in the College World Series. After collecting two hits in the loss against UCLA, Laird had three hits against North Carolina. Two of Laird's singles came in the innings in which was the Tigers scored their runs. Laird closed the season with a seven-game hitting streak. During that time, Laird was 14-for-31. He completed his freshman season with a .307 batting average.
LSU STARTING PITCHER
Making his first start in almost four weeks, Glenn had no answer for North Carolina's lineup. Glenn allowed a double and the home run by Holberton with two out in the first. He escaped trouble in the second when the first baseman Katz turned a line drive into an unassisted double play. When Glenn yielded a double and a single to start the third, he was replaced. The two-inning outing was Glenn's shortest since lasting just 1.2 innings at Missouri on March 31. In his last five starts, Glenn had given up only four earned runs in 35.1 innings. The loss was the third of the year for Glenn, who was suspended from the team for the regional and didn't make a start in the super-regional.
Senior Brent Bonvillain held up his end of the bargain as a long reliever. He pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third without a run scoring. Bonvillain then threw three shutout innings to keep the Tigers in the game. Bonvillain was lifted in favor of Chris Cotton with a runner on second and one out in the seventh. Cotton gave up a two-out hit by Bolt which drove in a run. Cotton then retired the last seven hitters in his final LSU appearance.
LSU lost its first two games in the College World Series for the fourth time. The Tigers were winless in appearances in Omaha in 1994, 2003 and 2004. . .McMullen snapped a 0-for-13 slump with a fifth-inning single. He doubled in his next time at-bat. . .Three of LSU's .300 hitters did not get a hit in either game in the CWS. Bregman was 0-for-8 with a walk. Rhymes was 0-for-9. Ibarra was 0-for-7. Both Bregman and Rhymes were hitless in four at-bats with a runner in scoring position in the two games - one against UCLA and three against North Carolina. Ibarra ended the season with no hits in 18 official at-bats. . .Katz reached base five times in his last game for LSU. Katz had two singles and drew three walks. . .Moore was used as a pinch-hitter for Andrew Stevenson with two runners on base and one out in the eighth. Moore flied out to leftfield. . .After having five hits in the super-regional series, Jones went 1-for-7 in the two games at the CWS. . .North Carolina closer Trent Thornton allowed two runs and nine hits in seven innings. He walked four and struck out three. . .LSU batters were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position - 2-for-8 against Thornton and 0-for-2 against reliever Chris McCue. . .North Carolina was just 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The difference in the game was Holberton's two-run homer. . .Moran, who had three hits, scored two runs and drove in another run. . .The Tigers scored just three runs in the two defeats in the College World Series. Ironically, LSU scored a total of three runs in its back-to-back losses against Stony Brook in last year's super-regional series. . .The Tigers finished the season with a 57-11. The 57 victories matched the school record set by the 1997 team. . .North Carolina, whose record is 58-11, will play either North Carolina State or UCLA in an elimination game Thursday night. . .The attendance was 21,380.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
Coach Paul Mainieri
"Obviously, it's a very disappointing day for all of us associated with LSU baseball. It was a very frustrating game. We had so many opportunities and just couldn't come through with a big hit. We got guys on base and just couldn't come through with the hits that we needed. We didn't play our best out here. We came here to win a championship and we came up a little bit short."
(on pitching performance) "I thought Cody (Glenn) looked really good to start the game. His sinker was working good. We thought we had the kid (Holberton) struck out on a 2-2 pitch. We didn't get the call. He lays one in there and it's a two-run homer on the next pitch. Then, they started to get to Cody a little bit. We got pretty fortunate to get out of the one inning with the line drive. I considered making a change after the second inning and bring in Brent (Bonvillain). The hesitation to bring him in probably cost us a run. I thought Brent did a phenomenal job for us and gave us a chance to win."
(on the tough two games for Alex Bregman and Raph Rhymes) "This is the first time Alex has been at the College World Series and first time as a freshman. He hasn't played like a freshman all year and I don't think he necessarily played like a freshman today. The other night, he looked a little bit nervous on defense and he was kind of flailing away on some of his at-bats. Raph has just had an up-and-down season. His year last year was off the charts. This year, he just hasn't been able to repeat his swing on a regular basis. Knowing that kid, he's going to blame himself and he can't do that."
"(Thornton) wasn't doing anything special that I saw in the pressure situations. He was just mixing his pitches up. When I was on base, he looked like he got a little more pin point. On a couple of times against Raph, he really got in there on him with two strikes. (McCue) was just throwing changeups. He was just keeping us off balance the whole time. The ones he was throwing to me, they were up in the zone and I was able to take them. The ones he threw to the other guys were perfect changeups - start at the knees and dive out the zone."
(on success of Colin Moran, who had three hits) "He's very selective about what he wanted to hit. When he saw the pitch that he liked, he just attacked it. He's a great hitter."
LSU will play UNO in the 2014 season opener at The Box on Friday, Feb. 14.
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