CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Connor Hujsak hit two solo home runs and his shot in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be the difference as VCU knocked off No. 11 overall seed North Carolina 4-3 on Saturday in the Chapel Hill Regional.
VCU (42-18) advances to Sunday’s title game and will face the winner of an elimination game between North Carolina (39-20) and Georgia on Sunday morning. A loss by VCU would force a second game on Monday.
Hujsak homered leading off the bottom of the second to give the Rams a 1-0 lead. That’s where the score remained until Cooper Benzin doubled in Will Carlone and AJ Mathis in the seventh to make it 3-0.
The Tar Heels didn’t get on the scoreboard until Vance Honeycutt’s solo homer leading off the eighth. Hujsak homered with one out in the Rams’ half of the eighth for a 4-1 lead.
North Carolina made things interesting in the ninth against VCU reliever Nolan Wilson, who came in and got the final out of the eighth. Max Reimer walked to lead off the inning. Wilson struck out Angel Zarate and got Mac Horvath to fly out to center for the second out. Danny Serretti homered to get the Tar Heels within a run. Honeycutt and Alberto Osuna drew walks, but Wilson got Mikey Madej to foul out to third for his third save.
Campbell Ellis threw four shutout innings in a start for VCU. Evan Chenier (3-0) got the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Brandon Schaeffer (7-3) took the loss for North Carolina, allowing one run on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.