Tigers chasing CWS berth

Will Holland and his Auburn teammates met North Carolina on Monday in the if-necessary game of the Chapel Hill Super Regional. The Tigers won Saturday’s opener but fell to the Tar Heels on Sunday, forcing a decisive game. The AU-UNC winner faces Mississippi State in the opening round of the College World Series.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —Auburn and North Carolina met Monday in a winner-take-all showdown after the Tar Heels defeated the Tigers 2-0 on Sunday in the second game of the NCAA baseball Chapel Hill Super Regional.

North Carolina scored both runs in the top of the first on Ike Freeman’s two-run single.

Auburn starter Baily Horn (4-1, 6.03) suffered the loss after pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing two runs while striking out three.

Ryan Watson relieved Horn and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings with a pair of strikeouts. Elliott Anderson worked the final three innings and blanked the Tar Heels on two hits with three strikeouts.

“We just really couldn’t get anything going offensively,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “Horn, Watson and Anderson really navigated around a few walks in the ballgame, but they never gave up the big hit and I appreciate them for that.”

Both teams had opportunities but were unable to cash in, leaving a combined 18 runners on base in the first five innings and 23 in the game.

Auburn 11, UNC 7

Rankin Woley hit a three-run double in Auburn’s five-run eighth and Edouard Julien smashed a three-run home run in the ninth, as the Tigers rallied to beat North Carolina on Saturday at Boshamer Stadium.

Trailing 5-2 entering the eighth inning, Auburn got back to within striking distance on an RBI double from Conor Davis. The Tigers cut North Carolina’s lead to one as Ryan Bliss scampered home from third on a wild pitch.

Battling with two strikes, Woley gave Auburn the lead with his bases-clearing double to highlight the eighth-inning comeback.

“I knew a breaking ball was coming. I like hitting the breaking ball,” Woley said.

“I fought a couple off there. I almost swung at one in the dirt. I almost swung at one over my head, but luckily got to the last one, put a good swing on and got one in the gap.”

After Cody Greenhill entered with the two-run lead and worked a scoreless eighth, Auburn extended its advantage with a four-run top of the ninth.

Will Holland hit a sacrifice fly to right field to make it an 8-5 ballgame before Julien put the exclamation point on the afternoon with his homer high off the net beyond the right-field fence.

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