Chapel Hill Regional hero Alex Madera praises Boshamer Stadium crowd

I still can’t get over how the UNC baseball team came back and beat LSU on Monday night, closing out the Chapel Hill Regional with a dramatic, 4-3 victory.

The ability to comeback typically isn’t an issue for North Carolina, given how hot their bats are swinging. Vance Honeycutt, Parks Harber and Casey Cook can mash a home run at any time, but virtually everyone in the Diamond Heels’ lineup is a threat, as the above three and Anthony Donofrio, Alex Madera and Friday night hero Gavin Gallaher all sport batting averages over .300.

That wasn’t the case on Monday night.

After UNC scored two quick runs in the first inning, its bats went ice-cold. North Carolina managed just two hits over the second-eighth innings, while the defending College World Series champion Tigers came back for a 3-2 lead in the third.

Every team needs clutch hitting, though, which the Diamond Heels provided plenty of in the ninth and 10th innings.

UNC starting shortstop Colby Wilkerson battled back from an 0-2 count, singling to left field and tying the game at three in the ninth.

In the top of the 10th (we agree, it’s weird North Carolina was the visiting team), Diamond Heels starting second baseman Alex Madera drove a hard ground ball into center field for a 4-3 lead, practically causing Boshamer Stadium to shake. UNC held on to win by that same score, advancing it to the Super Regionals against West Virginia.

What’s wild to think, though, is Madera wasn’t even in Chapel Hill at this time last year.

He was playing at Division-III Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, where crowds paled in comparison to The Bosh.

“It’s incredible,” Madera said about the Boshamer Staduium crowd on Monday night. “There’s nothing like it. You know, obviously at a small Division III school, you’re playing in front of maybe 100, 200 people max. It’s all families mainly. Nobody’s really getting into it that much. Just to hear that tonight, it was it was incredible.”

If Madera thought Monday night’s crowd was wild, imagine how hectic this Friday and Saturday will be, as North Carolina will be playing for its first College World Series berth since 2018.

Can Madera provide more heroics in the next round?

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire