College World Series: UNC's Moran Sends LSU Home with His Bat

J.P. Scott@TheJPScottSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2013

Jun 18, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; North Carolina Tarheels players congratulate each other after defeating the LSU Tigers during the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. North Carolina won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Moran didn't show up to the postgame press conference on Tuesday afternoon. He had already said all he needed to with his bat.

After a disappointing 0-for-3 outing to open up the College World Series against rival North Carolina State, Moran looked much more like the player that the Miami Marlins drafted sixth overall in this year's MLB draft when he took the field against LSU.

Moran led the No. 1 seed Tar Heels to a 4-2 win over the Tigers with a three-hit, one-RBI performance while scoring two runs.

His play was the spark that North Carolina needed to oust LSU, which may as well have been playing a home game.

The Tigers are inexplicably almost always the crowd favorite in Omaha, and it showed on Tuesday. In addition to LSU traveling well, countless numbers of otherwise neutral fans filled TD Ameritrade Park decked out in purple and gold. 

Carolina pitcher Trent Thornton did his part for the Tar Heels as well. The freshman right-hander turned in a seven-inning performance, giving up only two runs. Though he had taken the mound a few times in the NCAA tournament, it was the first time he actually started a game since March 27.

Carolina coach Mike Fox had high praise for Thornton after the game. "Well, we had the utmost confidence in Trent today. I think all of his teammates did as well. He's pitched like that for us all year long. So we're sort of used to that."

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LSU will head back to Baton Rouge, joining Louisville as one of the first two teams to be eliminated from the College World Series.

North Carolina will play the loser of tonight's North Carolina State-UCLA contest Thursday night at 8 p.m. EST in another elimination game.

J.P. Scott is a Senior Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand via the postgame press conference.