The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels avoided elimination from the 2013 College World Series with a 4-2 win over the No. 4 LSU Tigers on Tuesday. UNC starting pitcher Trent Thornton allowed nine hits in seven innings, but managed to escape with just two earned runs against.
Meanwhile, LSU starting pitcher Cody Glenn lasted just two innings. Playing in his first game off a late season suspension, he got himself into trouble with two outs in the first inning. Colin Moran got on base with a single to right, which Brian Holbertson followed up with a home run to give the Tar Heels an early 2-0 lead.
The Tigers were stuck playing catch-up from then on. LSU had a chance to make up ground in the seventh as Thornton's arm was tiring. They opened the inning at the top of the order with a Sean McMullen double and a Mark Laird single to put men on the corners with no outs. Alex Bregman hit into a double play on the next at-bat, however, scoring McMullen but wasting a golden opportunity. Thornton got Raph Rhymes to fly out two batters later to end the inning with UNC up 4-2.
The two teams entered the tournament as the two biggest favorites to win the national championship, but suffered stunning upset losses to find themselves matched up together in the loser's bracket. Now LSU will be heading home early.
UNC will next play the loser of Tuesday's 8 p.m. ET game between UCLA and NC State. That game will take place on June 20, with the winner advancing to take on the winner between UCLA and NC State for the right to move on to the College World Series finals. UNC was upset, 8-1, by NC State on Sunday.