CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WACH/AP) -- The South Carolina Gamecocks couldn't hold on to a two run sixth inning lead and fell just short of another trip to the College World Series in Omaha.
North Carolina's Colin Moran hit an RBI triple in a three-run sixth inning and staff ace Kent Emanuel picked up his first career save by getting the final two outs to help North Carolina beat South Carolina 5-4 on Tuesday, sending the No. 1 overall seed to the College World Series.
Brian Holberton hit a two-run homer for the Tar Heels (57-10), who trailed 4-2 before pushing ahead for good in the sixth to win the decisive third game in the weather-delayed super regional series. It will be the Tar Heels' sixth trip to Omaha in eight seasons.
Reliever Trent Thornton (11-1) earned the win, allowing one earned run over 4 2-3 innings. Then Emanuel -- who had thrown 238 pitches in the NCAA tournament -- came on for a pair of one-pitch outs that sent the UNC players spilling out of the dugout and onto the field to celebrate.
After the game Coach Chad Holbrook reflected on the season, pointing out how well the team handled adversity well all year long.
Holbrook added, "We've played great defense all year long. We wouldn't be sitting here with a chance at Omaha if we didn't. It bit us this weekend."
Some of the Gamecock players took to Twitter after the game.
Chase Vergason tweeted: "[Shout out] to all of our wonderful fans, been behind us every step of the way and although the season has come 2 an end, Im proud to b a gamecock."
Grayson Greiner tweeted: "honored to share a dugout with every one of my teammates and coaches this year, heartbreaking end to an amazing season #Gamecocks."