LSU baseball will face North Carolina Saturday in the Chapel Hill Regional

Steven Milam PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU meeting North Carolina on the winner’s side of the Chapel Hill Regional seemed like a foregone conclusion.

The Tarheels were the highest ranked team outside of the SEC and the Tigers were one of the hottest teams in college baseball and the reigning champs. Both teams had matchups with opponents that people thought they wouldn’t have much trouble with, but Wofford and Long Island wouldn’t let anything be easy.

LSU needed to comeback against the Terriers and won thanks to a walk-off homer from its star freshman in the bottom of the ninth. North Carolina had to do the same thing against the Sharks. Gavin Gallaher hit a walk-off grand slam to help the Tarheels to a win after they trailed 8-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

The Tigers will likely start Luke Holman on the mound on against North Carolina. Holman has a 2.54 ERA on the year and is coming off a six inning no hitter against Kentucky in the SEC Tournament last Wednesday.

LSU used Gage Jump in game one against Wofford as well as Gavin Guidry and Griffin Herring. Guidry threw just six pitches and Herring threw just 17. Both players will likely make another appearance before the tournament is done.

North Carolina threw four pitchers during its win over LIU. Jason DeCaro got the start on the mound and made it through four innings before Matthew Matthijs came in. Matthijs threw 38 pitches before being pulled for Dalton Pence, one of UNC’s top relievers. Pence threw 32 pitches before Matt Poston came in to close out the game.

UNC starter Shea Sprague has the second most starts on the team behind DeCaro and could be in for the start against the Tigers. The lefty last pitched against Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament and went 4.2 innings before being pulled. He has a 4.02 ERA on the season and a 3-1 record.

Vance Honeycutt, one of UNC’s top hitters, didn’t record a single hit against the Sharks on Friday. Anthony Donofrio led the way with four hits in the game and Alberto Osuna and Gallaher each had three hits.

LSU and UNC will face off tomorrow at 4 p.m. The winner will play Sunday at 5 p.m. and the loser will play Sunday at 11 a.m.

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Will Nickel

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