North Carolina 4, LSU 2

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North Carolina starter Trent Thornton came out to pitch the eighth leading 4-2, but walked LSU leadoff hitter Christian Ibarra. That ended Thornton's day and in came Chris McCue. After recording an out, he allowed a single to JaCoby Jones and got pinch-hitter Tyler Moore to fly out. Sean McMullen was hit by a pitch which loaded the bases for Mark Laird -- who was 3-for-4 coming into the at bat. McCue -- Thornton's high school teammate -- got Laird to flyout as well to squash LSU's last threat.

Trent Thornton | North Carolina | P

Trent Thornton is only a freshman and has been North Carolina's primary closer this season, but he started Tuesday's elimination game and dominated a potent LSU lineup. Thornton started his first game since March 27 and went a career-high 7-plus innings while allowing nine hits and two runs. Thornton improved to 12-1 this season, which sets the UNC record for wins by a freshman.

"It made the move look good but it wasn't me. Brian's been in that position before and we felt we needed to move some things around a little bit. We did think about having Brian in there; he can do a lot of things for us not just a home run ... but he can hit and he can bunt and he can do a lot of things for us. Paid off [Tuesday]. "
-- North Carolina coach Mike Fox
Speaking about moving catcher Brian Holberton to the four-hole in the UNC lineup

After being moved to the cleanup, Holberton sent a two-run homer sailing and the Tar Heels never looked back.
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Wherever North Carolina head coach Mike Fox plugs junior Brian Holberton into the line-up he’s likely to make a contribution. On Tuesday afternoon, Holberton did just that, blasting a first-inning, two-run homer to spark UNC to a 4-2 victory against LSU as the Tar Heels staved off elimination in the College World Series.


LSU's Raph Rhymes came into Tuesday's game hitting .337 overall. He was hitting .311 with runners on base but went 0-for-5 and left eight runners on base. Four of his at-bats ended innings. LSU as a team left 13 runners on.

North Carolina will play NC State at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. It will be the second elimination game in a row for the top-seeded Tar Heels.

LSU is the second team eliminated at the 2013 College World Series and finishes the season with a record of 57-11.