Heels Pound Dolphins In NCAA Opener

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina took care of business in its own backyard Friday night with a dominant 6-0 win over Jacksonville to take early control of the Chapel Hill Regional. In the meantime, East Carolina fans kept their hotel reservations in anticipation of a winners' bracket match-up with the Tar Heels Saturday at 5 p.m.

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  • But in the double-elimination Chapel Hill Regional, the Tar Heels weren't looking ahead against the Dolphins. They just methodically sent a message as to why they're the tournament's overall No. 3 seed.

    The middle of the Tar Heel batting order featuring Tim Federowicz (3-for-4, 2 RBI) and Josh Horton (2-for-3 RBI) provided more than enough offensive onslaught.

    "I was seeing the ball real well tonight," Federowicz said.

    Three back-to-back run scoring doubles following a leadoff single by Federowicz helped stoke UNC to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning that set the tone for the rest of the game.

    Meanwhile, Carolina starting pitcher Robert Woodard scattered seven benign hits over eight shutout innings.

    "Our hitters really stepped up, and to have a cushion early on was a big lift," Woodard said.

    UNC pounded six doubles on the night, for a total of 16 in its last four contests.

    Woodard (10-2) won his fourth postseason game – one shy of Derrick DePriest's school record five.

    "The story of the game was Robert Woodard and how well he pitched," UNC coach Mike Fox said. "We did what we needed to do, and Tim had some big swings of the bat for us."

    The Tar Heels have posted shutouts in two of their last three games.

    In their run to the College World Series championship game last year, the Tar Heels staggered into the NCAA Tournament following a pair of losses early in the conference tourney. Still, they would go on to run off nine-straight before falling to Oregon State in CWS finals.

    This year, UNC (49-12) has stormed into the postseason, winners of nine of its last 10, while banking the school's first ACC Tournament crown since 1990.

    Losses have come few and far between, but it only takes one or two in the postseason to cut down even a prohibitive Omaha favorite like Carolina.

    Waiting in the wings are the Pirates (40-21), who battled back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Western Carolina, 9-8, in the day's earlier match-up.

    UNC defeated ECU twice during the regular season by a combined 15-1 score in a home-and-home series.

    WCU and Jacksonville will meet in an elimination game Saturday at 1 p.m.

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