FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. — North Carolina right-hander Alex White limited seventh-seeded LSU to four hits in seven innings and the second-seeded Tar Heels pounded out 17 hits to deal the Tigers an 8-4 loss in the 2008 NCAA College World Series opening round on Sunday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.
LSU (48-18-1) will face Rice in an elimination game at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN 2.
The Tar Heels (52-12) entered the game as the national leader in earned run average. Sunday night they displayed their veteran presence as a team that is attempting to reach its third CWS championship series.
White, the Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, stymied the Tigers, allowing only four hits and three runs in a seven-inning effort. He walked two and struck out six while firing 107 pitches.
Meanwhile, UNC tallied 17 hits – 15 singles – against six LSU pitchers. Four Tar Heel starters registered three hits apiece, and centerfielder Seth Williams drove in three runs. UNC put pressure on LSU all game by putting the leadoff hitter on in seven of its eight at-bats.
LSU junior starter Ryan Verdugo (9-4) was touched for 10 hits and six runs – four earned – in 3.2 innings of work.
“It was a frustrating game for us,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We got off to a great start with the leadoff home run in the first (by third baseman Michael Hollander). Verdugo was throwing well in the bottom of the first – a guy was safe on a swinging bunt, a good piece of hitting on a single the other way, a tough play on a grounder – all of a sudden the bases were loaded with nobody out, and I felt like our guy was throwing well. It was a series of tough breaks for us, and we got in a hole.
“North Carolina earned what they got, to a certain degree, but we made some mistakes as well. They swung the bats well, but we helped them out with some poor defense.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF UNC MEDIA RELATIONS