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UNC-NC State: Blowout or epic battle?

So far this year, it’s been one or the other between the two rivals. One 18-inning marathon and three lopsided clunkers that were over by the fifth inning. But you better believe this rubber match will be full of passion and emotion — and not just because Thursday night is a CWS elimination game. The two rosters are full of guys who grew up playing with or against one another. (Omaha World-Herald)

UNC shifts focus from what's ahead

North Carolina won't see Carlos Rodon -- at least not to begin the game. NC State announced early Wednesday evening that Brad Stone will get the start. The winner has to beat UCLA, a team almost entirely built on pitching, twice to reach the three-game championship series next week. It's a long haul for anyone, four days of fighting against the end of spring and the beginning of summer for these teams. (ESPN.com)

CWS Preview: #1 UNC vs NC State

#1 North Carolina vs NC State, 8 PM, ESPN: In probably the most predictable occurrence so far in Omaha, UNC and NC State end up playing each other in an elimination game. This is a nightmare for both fan bases because if UNC wins, it will stick in the craw of Wolfpack fans. If NC State wins, that would be two straight losses to the Pack on baseball's biggest stage. (Tar Heel Blog)

Analyzing tonight's UNC-NC State baseball matchup

Carolina will win if Colin Moran can build on his three-hit game against LSU. The Tar Heels’ top run producer had been scuffling in the tournament but recorded his first three-hit game since May 17 against Virginia. State will win if starting pitcher Brad Stone can channel his inner Carlos Rodon. If the Wolfpack can get a solid start out of Stone, it will enhance its chances of sticking around Omaha. (Greensboro News & Record)

Hobbs Johnson against N.C. State an "easy" decision

Pitching coach Scott Forbes sets the example for his staff. He chooses North Carolina (58-11) starting pitchers based on who is throwing best, paying little mind to opponents’ weaknesses. “We all have the same approach,” Hobbs Johnson said. “Coach Forbes’ big thing is we don’t pitch to other team’s weakness. We pitch to our strengths.” (Daily Tar Heel)

Postseason Pop

Four weeks ago, Brian Holberton was mired in a batting slump. Now, the junior catcher/outfielder is leading North Carolina’s offensive charge through the postseason. Holberton is batting .381 with 17 RBIs in 13 postseason games, including a 0-7 effort in the 18-inning ACC Tournament contest against N.C. State. The Charlotte, N.C. product has nine multi-hit games during that stretch. (Inside Carolina)

No doubting Matt Harvey's toughness, on and off the mound

That's where Matt Harvey, coming off a late August start the previous night, was camped out, snoozing with a cellphone lying on his chest. But Jon Rauch rudely interrupted the nap, a source confirmed Wednesday, when the 6-11 relief pitcher dumped a bucket of ice water on the unsuspecting Harvey. (Newsday)

Flopping finds UNC baseball

The youth baseball coach you secretly hated always told you to call it when you went in for a catch. The guy had a point, and the UNC baseball team has a good reminder of why. He does manage to hang onto the ball, which is impressive. (SB Nation)

Tar Heels Get Another Chance Against Wolfpack

Junior left-hander Hobbs Johnson will take the ball Thursday against NC State. The last time Johnson started against NC State came in the ACC Tournament contest that Carolina won 2-1 in 18 innings. The Wolfpack will counter with freshman left-hander Brad Stone. The start will be the first for Stone since the regional-clinching win over William & Mary. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

Tar Heels, Wolfpack brace for conclusive showdown

It felt inevitable, didn’t it? Even after N.C. State (50-15) shellacked in-state rival North Carolina (58-11) on Sunday, it still seemed like the two would find a way to meet again. If one could call a fifth meeting in a season between two teams a rubber match, then that’s what this is. Thursday night in the College World Series, it’s win-or-go-home. (Fox Sports Carolinas)

Holbie Blast Rare Omaha Sight In 2013

Much digital ink has been spilled debating the merits of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, the 3-year-old home of the College World Series. Brian Holberton's first-inning home run there Tuesday was the 21st in CWS play at the venue and the first hit out to right-center. The dimensions make the park more pitcher-friendly than Rosenblatt Stadium. (GoHeels.com)

Tar Heels hope to avenge earlier loss to stay alive in CWS

As good as the Tar Heels have been with their backs against the wall, they can’t afford to falter again. The next loss will be their last this season, and that could come as soon as Thursday at 8 p.m. when North Carolina takes on N.C. State in a win-or-go-home contest. But UNC’s leaders will do all they can to prevent an early exit from the CWS. (Winston-Salem Journal)

Checking in with UNC's super fan after UNC's 4-2 win

Tom Jensen, who has been to 61 of 69 games this season, has to head back to Raleigh for the rest of the week to go back to work as the director of Public Policy Polling. But before he left, he shared his impressions about a déjà vu win, the families of the UNC baseball team and his plans for finding a replacement to lead the Tar Heel rallying cry. (Daily Tar Heel)

UNC's Thorton finds success in any role

Trent Thornton is a big reason North Carolina's baseball team got to Omaha. He became an even bigger factor in helping keep the Tar Heels for another couple of days. In his first start in almost three months, the freshman checked LSU for seven innings in Tuesday's 4-2 elimination game victory over the Tigers. “He's pitched like that for us all year long,” North Carolina coach Mike Fox said. (Omaha World-Herald)

Rubber game: Pack, Heels meet in CWS elimination game Thursday

North Carolina and N.C. State have each set program records for wins this season. The Tar Heels have been the most consistent team all season and earned their first-ever No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, while the Wolfpack are the hottest team in the country over the past two months. After Thursday night, one team will be a step closer to winning its first national championship. (Durham Herald-Sun)

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