Vance Honeycutt hits walk-off homer as North Carolina beats West Virginia in super regional

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Luke Stevenson homered leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game, Vance Honeycutt followed with a two-out, two-run shot and No. 4 national seed North Carolina rallied behind three no-hit innings from reliever Matt Poston to beat West Virginia 8-6 on Friday night in the opener the Chapel Hill Super Regional.

North Carolina (46-14) can wrap up the best-of-three series and earn a spot in its 12th College World Series with a victory on Saturday. West Virginia (36-23), playing this far in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history, must win twice to advance to its first CWS.

Kyle West, who homered in the third to drive in West Virginia's first run, added a two-out run-scoring single in the fourth to get the Mountaineers within 4-2.

Reed Chumley homered after Sam White reached on an error leading off the sixth and West followed with a two-run shot to give West Virginia a 6-4 lead. West is the third Mountaineer in school history to hit two home runs in a postseason game. Chumley's homer was his team-high 16th.

Colby Wilkerson, the No. 9 batter in the order, hit a one-out solo shot in the seventh to get the Tar Heels within a run.

Honeycutt's home run was his 25th of the season and the 62nd of his career, a school record.

Derek Clark (8-3) nearly went the distance for West Virginia. He left with one out in the ninth and a runner on first after throwing 144 pitches. Aidan Major surrendered Honeycutt's homer after striking out Wilkerson for the second out.

Poston (5-2) retired all nine batters he faced, striking out four. North Carolina improves to 36-3 at home this season.

North Carolina has made 11 CWS appearances but never won it. The Tar Heels were the runners-up to Oregon State twice, in 2006 and '07.


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