Where: Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, June 11th, 3:00 PM
Records: UNC 49-14; Stanford 35-21
UNC leads best-of-three series 1-0
A year ago UNC had its College World Series appearance streak broken at four. Now the Heels are poised to return to Omaha. To get there UNC will send freshman Kent Emanuel(7-1, 2.62 ERA) to the mound in pretty much the biggest start of his young career. The good news for Emanuel is the first game of the regional was also the biggest start of his college career so at least he has experience with it. Stanford will counter with Jordan Pries(6-5, 3.24 ERA)
In Game 1 it was the back of the Tar Heel order that did the heavy lifting. Ben Bunting and Seth Baldwin both delivered key hits and Bunting made some nice plays in center field. If UNC has designs on advancing more of that and the big sticks in the lineup doing more would help. Colin Moran was 0-3 with a walk in the opener making the ACC's RBI leader 3-17 in the past four games. Levi Michael snapped out of his slump going 2-4. In a game with a trip to Omaha on the line, a huge game from Moran is certainly not out of the question.
This is the fourth Super Regional UNC has hosted since 2006. UNC has only gone two three games once versus South Carolina in 2007. This could be a similar deal. Stanford is a good team with experience in NCAA Tournament play. In Game 1 the Cardinal did not panic and escaped multiple potential big innings for UNC with limited damage. The upside for UNC is Emanuel is on the mound. Johnson has been out of this world over the past two months but it should be noted Emanuel has been pretty good in his own right. As good as Stanford is, UNC has to feel good about getting that ticket to Omaha punched on Saturday.
Go Heels...get it done!