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LSU Forces Game 7 vs. UNC With 8-4 Victory

Sunday’s LSU win forces a rematch between the Tigers and North Carolina at 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET Monday to determine the regional champion. The television network for the championship game will be determined by Monday morning.

by Bill Franques
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LSU Forces Game 7 vs. UNC With 8-4 Victory

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Right-hander Thatcher Hurd worked a season-long 5.2 innings Sunday, and leftfielder Josh Pearson launched a two-run homer as LSU defeated North Carolina, 8-4, in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at Boshamer Stadium.

Sunday’s LSU win forced a rematch between the Tigers and North Carolina at 5 p.m. CT/6 p.m. ET Monday to determine the regional champion.

The game will be televised by ESPN2 / ESPN+ and broadcast on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network. It can be heard on the LSU Sports Mobile App and at

Earlier on Sunday, LSU posted a 13-6 win over Wofford in an elimination game.

LSU is now 43-22 on the year, while North Carolina, the NCAA Tournament No. 4 National Seed,  is 44-14. Wofford ended its season with a 42-20 record.

Hurd (3-4) pitched a season-high 5.2 innings on Sunday, limiting North Carolina to two runs on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

“Talent and experience wins,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “Our players have talent, they’re experienced. We’ve been in games like that today and have come through and when that happens, our players should draw a lot of confidence from that. I have confidence in them, just like I had confidence in giving the ball to Thatcher tonight.

“North Carolina is an elite team, so you’ve just got keep playing. You just have to keep playing. I have a saying that everything is training for something. We’re trained and ready for tomorrow.”

Relievers Justin Loer, Fidel Ulloa, Kade Anderson and Gavin Guidry followed Hurd and combined to allow two runs on three hits over the final 3.1 innings with seven strikeouts.

North Carolina starter Aidan Haugh (4-2) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered four runs on five hits in 3.0 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

Pearson’s two-run homer – his eighth dinger of the year — against Haugh in the bottom of the first inning gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead. LSU stretched the margin to 3-0 in the third when shortstop Michael Braswell III provided a two-out RBI single.

The Tar Heels narrowed the gap to 3-1 in the top of the fourth when first baseman Parks Harber doubled and scored on an RBI single by rightfielder Anthony Donofrio.

LSU struck for four runs in the bottom of the fourth as third baseman Tommy White lined an RBI single, second baseman Steven Milam smacked a two-run single, and the final run of the frame scored on Pearson’s double-play groundout with the bases loaded.

The Tigers increased the margin to 8-1 in the fifth on a solo shot by designated hitter Hayden Travinski, his 16th homer of the season.

North Carolina scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh, and the Tar Heels loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Guidry struck out catcher Luke Stevenson and retired third baseman Gavin Gallaher on a fly ball to left field to end the game.

LSU pounded out 21 hits in the win over Wofford, as the Tigers rebounded from a 5-0 first-inning deficit. Pearson was 3-for-4 in the game with a homer, two doubles and four RBI to pace the Tigers’ offense.

LSU reliever Griffin Herring (6-1) earned the win, limiting the Terriers to one run on five hits in 6.1 innings with no walks and seven strikeouts.