N.C. sends 2 to super regionals

A crowd at Dail Park watches NC State's Dominic Fritton (51) pitch during an NCAA regional baseball game against South Carolina. The Wolfpack advanced to the super regional round next weekend. (Ben McKeown/AP Photo)

While most people would probably think of basketball when the state comes up in conversation, North Carolina is no slouch in college baseball either.

The Old North State had seven schools qualify for the NCAA baseball regionals with three of them being selected as hosts.

Here’s how the NC teams fared in regionals this weekend:

Duke: 1-2

The ACC Tournament champion Blue Devils could not keep the momentum going in Oklahoma, as Duke came up short with losses to UConn (4-1) and No. 9 Oklahoma (4-3).

Seeded in the Norman Regional, the Blue Devils failed to get the bats going in their first game against the Huskies, managed to stay alive against Oral Roberts (6-2) but went cold again against the Sooners.

Duke tried to muster a rally with a two-run homer by AJ Gracia, bringing the deficit to just one in the top of the eighth, but Oklahoma was able to put the Blue Devils away.

Overall, it was still a strong season for Duke who captured their second ever ACC Tournament title and 40-win season.

No. 16 ECU: 3-2

The Pirates stumbled out of the gate in their home regional, losing to the bottom seed Evansville (4-1), but they managed to pull out three straight victories – a 7-6 last-inning thriller over Wake Forest, 10-7 over VCU and a 19-6 revenge rout against Evansville again, to line up a winner-take-all final game with the Purple Aces yet again.

However, it seems that the American Athletic Conference regular season champions used up too many of their runs in the game prior as eventually Evansville outpaced them in a 6-5 win to punch their first ever ticket to the Super Regionals.

High Point: 1-2

It was a historic season for the Panthers who not only had their first-ever regional appearance, but who also captured a win with a victory over Vanderbilt (10-9) in Clemson.

The Big South champions, also a program first, had a record-setting season with an overall record of 35-27, the most single-season DI wins in program history.

Despite falling to both No. 6 Clemson (4-3) and Coastal Carolina (6-5), High Point gave both a run for their money losing each by just a single run.

No. 10 NC State: 3-0

The only in-state team to go undefeated at regionals, NC State took care of business at The Doak, winning all three of their games en route to the Pack’s second Super Regional appearance in the last four years.

The Wolfpack easily handled Bryant (9-2), outbattled South Carolina (6-4) and managed to stave off JMU’s pushes (5-3) to punch their ticket to the program’s sixth super regional and first since 2021.

The Pack had a chance to host the super regional had Georgia Tech held on against Georgia, but instead NC State will head down to Athens to face the Bulldogs in a best of three series.

No. 4 UNC: 3-1

The Tar Heels love a little drama, don’t they?

The ACC regular season champions and nationally ranked fourth overall team had a good bit of it in every game they played in Chapel Hill.

After surrendering four runs and the lead in the ninth inning against LIU in their first game of the tournament, UNC would end up walking it off thanks to a grand slam by Gavin Gallaher.

The Tar Heels then defeated defending national champions LSU (6-2) before losing to the Tigers (8-4) in the following game to set up a Regional Championship game once again against LSU on Monday.

Both teams exchanged blows early, but things tightened up after the third inning with the Tigers holding a tense 3-2 lead all the way to the ninth inning.

There, the Heels managed to find the tying run in the ninth to force extra innings.

Then despite facing a two-out hole in the top of the tenth, UNC stayed calm and got the bats going with Alex Madera eventually sending home the winning run and Dalton Pence icing out the Tigers.

The Tar Heels will again be hosting as they get set to face West Virginia in the Super Regionals.

UNCW: 1-2

The Coastal Athletic Association champion Seahawks qualified for their 12th ever regional appearance and fourth in the last six seasons.

The Seahawks started off their regional strong, with a big win over Georgia Tech (9-0) in Athens, but it would be the Yellow Jackets that eventually eliminated UNCW (3-1) after their first loss to eventual Super Regional qualifier and host Georgia (11-2).

Wake Forest: 0-2

The preseason number one had their bats run dry for too many innings this weekend.

Following a 1-0 loss to VCU, the Demon Deacons went eight innings against ECU only managing two hits, before exploding out in the ninth to take the lead with a 5-run inning.

But the story was not meant to be written as the Pirates smashed right back with four straight hits in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 7-6 win to end Wake’s season.