College baseball: Davidson continues amazing run, beats North Carolina to win regional
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Davidson's first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament and Cinderella run will continue as the Wildcats captured the Chapel Hill Regional championship with a 2-1 victory over No. 2 national seed North Carolina on Sunday at Boshamer Stadium.
Davidson (35-24), which began playing baseball 115 years ago, advances to next weekend's Super Regional, where it will face the winner of the Houston Regional (Texas A&M or Houston).
Just the second No. 4 seed to sweep a regional and sixth ever to move on, the Wildcats advanced to the regional final with an 8-4 win over the host Tar Heels on Friday, followed by a 2-1 decision against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday night.
Davidson, the 2017 Atlantic 10 tournament champions, is the third league (VCU – 2015; Richmond – 2002) member to play in the Round of 16 since 1999.
For the second straight night, the Wildcats came out on the better end of a pitcher's duel, as Josh Hudson tossed seven innings, allowing just one run while striking out six.
Senior Will Robertson, a third-team All-American selection by Collegiate Baseball, broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with an RBI single that plated freshman Brett Centracchio and sophomore Max Bazin, who both reached with hits of their own.
The Tar Heels (49-14), who eliminated Florida Gulf Coast earlier in the day, answered with their only run of the game in the home half with a solo shot from Michael Busch.
Davidson's ace Durin O'Linger, who recorded the win in Friday's opener, threw the final two frames to pick up the second save of his career.
Along with extending his program-record on-base streak to 54 games, Robertson made headlines for his defense in the bottom of the ninth, when he threw out Brandon Riley at home for the second out. Riley slid around the original tag from Jake Sidwell but missed the plate, allowing the Wildcat catcher to get him on the second attempt at the dish to keep the lead intact.
With two away and runners at the corners, O'Linger got Busch to groundout to first baseman Brian Fortier to secure the title.
Winners of six straight and 10 of their last 11, the Wildcats never trailed throughout their NCAA Regional debut.