Instead of getting an opportunity to improve on runner-up finishes the past two seasons, the Tar Heels are out of the College World Series without making the finals.
“The end of the year is not ever fun,” coach Mike Fox said. “It’s actually the worst, no matter where you are, but especially out here. We’re going to tend to focus on the whole season. We kind of have to, to get over the hurt.”
Fresno State eliminated North Carolina with a 6-1 victory Sunday and faced Georgia in the best-of-three series starting Monday. Georgia won the opening game with a 7-6 comeback victory.
Sunday night, each team had 10 hits and North Carolina (54-14) likely would have had more — and more runs—if not for Fresno State’s defense, particularly shortstop Danny Muno and third baseman Tommy Mendonca. The Bulldogs have a .981 team fielding average after four CWS games.
The only run for North Carolina came on a bases-loaded walk.
“They made every play defensively against us in all three games,” Fox said. “Their shortstop and third baseman were sensational.”
Fresno State (45-30) had no errors in eliminating North Carolina on Sunday. The Bulldogs committed one error in three games against North Carolina.
North Carolina players Colin Bates, center, Brett Thomas, right, and Mark Fleury react after losing 6-1 to Fresno State in an NCAA College World Series baseball game. (AP Photo/Ted Kirk)
Rich Poythress #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs scores against catcher Ryan Overland #24 of the Fresno State Bulldogs during Game 1 of the 2008 Men's College World Series Championship. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)