The LSU Tigers came to Omaha with a school record tying 57 wins. They leave with two straight losses and early elimination.
North Carolina scored 3 runs early, then held off LSU for a 4-2 win in an elimination game in the College World Series.
LSU left 13 runners on base. Leftfielder Raph Rhymes left 8 on base in 5 at bats.
“He’s the greatest kid in the world,” said head coach Paul Mainieri of Rhymes. “I love him like my own children. I just feel bad for him. Knowing that kid, he’s going to blame himself and he can’t do that.”
North Carolina jumped on LSU starter Cody Glenn early. Cleanup hitter Brian Holberton hit a two run homer into the right field seats in the first inning. Colin Moran’s RBI single in the third gave North Carolina a 3-0 lead.
Sean McMullen scored both LSU runs. He scored in the 5th on a single by Mason Katz. And, he scored in the 7th when Alex Bregman grounded into a double play.
In the 8th, LSU loaded the bases with two out. But, Mark Laird flied softly to left.
Glenn pitched 2 innings and took the loss. North Carolina freshman Trent Thornton picked up the win. Thornton pitched 7 innings, allowed 9 hits, 2 earned runs, walked 4, and struck out 3.
“I am proud of this team,” said Mainieri. “It was a phenomenal year. It wasn’t like we came out and got blown out of games. We were right here and just couldn’t come through with the play here or the hit here or a pitch here. And, it stings a lot.”