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UNC baseball to open Men’s College World Series, face Virginia on Friday at 2 PM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Vance Honeycutt hit a home run on the game’s first pitch after ending the opener of the best-of-three series with a walk-off two-run shot, and North Carolina held off West Virginia 2-1 on Saturday night, sweeping the best-of-three Chapel Hill Super Regional and grabbing a berth in the College World Series.

North Carolina (47-14) will play in its 12th CWS looking to win it for the first time. The Tar Heels finished second in back-to-back seasons, losing both times to the Oregon State Beavers in 2006-07. North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia have clinched berths in the Series with five spots still up for grabs.

Honeycutt, who homered in the ninth inning of the Tar Heels’ 8-6 victory in the opener, homered off West Virginia starter Tyler Switalski leading off the game. Honeycutt’s home run was his school-record 26th of the season, moving him one past the single-season record he set two seasons ago. It was also the school-record 63rd of his career.

The Tar Heels scored their final run on three singles in the third. Honeycutt got it started when he bunted with two away and beat it out. Casey Cook followed with a base hit up the middle to put runners at the corners and Parks Harber plated Honeycutt with a single through the left side of the infield for what proved to be the winning run.

Anna Harden

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