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Men’s College World Series Day 5: Florida State fends off Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina to reach semifinals

Men’s College World Series Day 5: Florida State fends off Vance Honeycutt, North Carolina to reach semifinals

Florida State is headed to the semifinals in Omaha.

The Seminoles held on late Tuesday afternoon, defeating North Carolina 9-5 at Charles Schwab Field in Nebraska to keep their Men’s College World Series alive. That officially eliminated the Tar Heels from the tournament.

The fight was the only one of the day on Tuesday, as the night match was postponed due to bad weather.

Key statistics

In the end it made no difference, but Vance Honeycutt hit another home run for North Carolina on Tuesday afternoon.

The Tar Heels star drilled a three-run shot well into left field in the fifth inning to keep them in it late. It was his sixth home run this postseason, the most of anyone in the postseason, and his fourth in his last five games. He is also responsible for over a third of the points scored.

Highlights

He didn’t last long on the mound, but Matthew Mathijs threw an incredible pitch on Tuesday afternoon. Despite a huge gust of wind rushing through the park and knocking his hat off his head in the middle of the field, Mathijs managed to carry out the toss without hesitating.

In fact, he didn’t even flinch. Just look:

However, that came in the middle of the Seminoles’ two-run inning. After loading the bases, Florida State scored one after Jaime Ferrer walked, then Daniel Cantu hit a sacrifice fly to score a second to end the inning. That, after Drew Faurot’s RBI single in the second, gave them a 3-0 lead.

North Carolina got one back in the third on a huge Casey Cook RBI double.

However, Florida State erupted in the fifth with RBI singles from Jax and Max, suddenly pushing Florida State’s lead to 7-1. They had six hits in the inning.

After surviving Honeycutt’s push in the bottom of the fifth, the Seminoles loaded the bases in the sixth but failed to score a single one. It wasn’t until Jaxson West and Max Williams each hit back-to-back solo home runs to start the ninth inning that the Seminoles finally took back control of the game. That pushed them to a four-point victory and into the semi-finals.

What’s next for the state of Florida?

With their victory, Florida State now advances to the semifinals in Omaha. The Seminoles will take on Tennessee on Wednesday afternoon. The Volunteers secured a spot in the semifinals on Sunday with a dominant 6-1 win over North Carolina. That marked the first loss of the tournament for the Tar Heels. Tennessee, which posted a one-point win over Florida State in the first round, has not yet lost in Omaha.

No. 2 Kentucky and Florida were scheduled to face each other in the second game Tuesday night in Omaha, although that game was postponed to Wednesday due to weather conditions. The winner of that match will advance to the semifinals and face Texas A&M on Monday night. Kentucky-Florida opens Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time in what will ultimately be a three-game day in Nebraska.