Heels Win 7-3; Advance to Super Regional

CARY, N.C. – No. 2 North Carolina defeated UNC Wilmington for the second time in a little more than 24 hours to win its third straight NCAA Regional, posting a 7-3 victory against the Seahawks on Sunday evening.

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"It feels great to be returning to the Super Regional again," head coach Mike Fox said. "We got some big hits and pitches for the guys up here today… I am very proud of my team and my staff, we are excited to play in the Super Regional next weekend."

Mark Fleury (2-2, HR, 3 RBI) and Tim Fedroff (3-3, 2 RBI) combined for five of North Carolina's eight hits, including four RBI's in the five-run fifth inning that put the Tar Heels in command with a 5-1 lead before a 76-minute rain delay halted the action.

Fedroff singled in Dustin Ackley (2-5) to tie the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, and after Tim Federowicz (1-4, 1 RBI) knocked in Fedroff for a second score while moving Kyle Seager (0-2) to second base, Fleury hit a three-run monster shot over the right field wall that landed in the woods at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.

"I almost kind of knew it was coming because [Jesse Haney] threw me a fastball before and I think he was going to catch me off guard and beat me again," Fleury said of his homerun pitch. "So I was kind of cheating for it and I was lucky he threw it there and put a good swing on it."

Brian Moran (1-1) picked up his first win of the season for the Tar Heels (49-12), pitching two solid innings (two hits, one earned run) in relief of Adam Warren (five hits, one earned run, five walks and one strikeout in 4 2/3 innings). Moran entered the game in the fifth with the bases loaded and promptly got out of the jam, as the New York sophomore has allowed only four of 37 inherited runners to score this season.

UNC Wilmington (44-17-1) advanced to the championship round earlier in the day by rallying past Elon 15-11 with 11 runs in the ninth, but the Seahawks were forced to use six pitchers in that game. Larry Salefsky (4-3) pitched a solid outing against the Tar Heels after throwing in relief against the Phoenix, but the fifth inning was too much for the 6-foot-7, 235-pounder.

Haney entered the game in relief, but quickly gave up the three-run shot to Fleury.

Fedroff ended the series as strongly as he started it on Friday, hitting 82 percent (9-11) with eight RBI over the weekend, earning Cary Regional MVP honors along the way.

"I lot of it was just getting ready with my approach at-bat and trying to drive the ball up the middle," Fedroff said of his weekend performance. "I was just trying to stay within myself and not trying to do too much, hit the ball where it was pitched. It is only one weekend and it feels good, hopefully we can continue to do the same next weekend."

Fedroff also became the sixth Tar Heel to have 100 hits in a season with his first-inning single, and Ackley became the seventh with an eighth-inning single.

Rhett Miller, Mark Carver and Jason Appel all hit RBI singles for UNCW, and the Seahawks loaded the bases in the top of the ninth inning only down four, but Rob Wooten picked up his fourth save of the season by striking out his last two batters. In all, the Seahawks left 12 men on base, compared to only six for North Carolina.

Joining Fedroff on the Cary Regional's All-Tournament Team was Ackley, Fleury, Ryan Graepel, Seth Williams and Alex White.

The Tar Heels are expected to host their second consecutive Super Regional, welcoming Coastal Carolina to Cary next weekend after the Chanticleers dismantled East Carolina, 24-11, on Sunday night.

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