North Carolina ousts Texas from CWS
OMAHA, Neb. -- The games keep getting bigger for North Carolina, and Kent Emanuel keeps getting better.
The freshman left-hander pitched the first complete-game shutout at the College World Series in five years in a 3-0 victory that eliminated Texas on Monday.
Emanuel limited the Longhorns to four singles in his third win of the NCAA tournament and first career shutout.
The 19-year-old Emanuel showed plenty of maturity in methodically and coolly keeping the Longhorns off balance with changeups and curves when they were sitting on fastballs.
"Other than his left arm, that's his best trait, his demeanor," Carolina coach Mike Fox said. "You don't see a lot of emotion out of him. That's what you want when you're on the mound, especially on this stage."
North Carolina's offense, which couldn't get timely hits in an opening loss to Vanderbilt, produced enough to support Emanuel.
Jacob Stallings hit a two-run single in the third inning and Ben Bunting finished a four-hit day with an RBI double in the ninth for the Tar Heels (51-15), who play Vanderbilt or Florida on Wednesday.
Texas (49-19) went two games and out for the second time in 25 CWS appearances since 1966 and for the fourth time in its record 34 trips to Omaha. The last time was in 2000.
"We didn't come here to be the first team to leave," Texas shortstop Brandon Loy said. "You're never going to be satisfied, I don't think, unless you come out of here with a national championship. We did some amazing things with this team. It's tough to leave now."
Emanuel (9-1) walked one and struck out five. North Carolina's Robert Woodard pitched the last shutout here, blanking Clemson in 2006. The last freshman to do it was LSU's Brett Laxton in 1993 against Wichita State.
"It was a brilliantly pitched game by their pitcher," Texas coach Augie Garrido said. "He was terrific. He got three pitches over. He used them in different count spots where he would lead guys off of changeups. He'd lead guys off with breaking balls. He'd lead guys off with fastballs and he had command throughout the game from beginning to end."
The Longhorns' offense struggled in their two CWS games, going three-up, three-down in 11 of 18 innings against Florida and North Carolina.
They twice ran themselves out of innings Monday, with Jonathan Walsh getting doubled off in the second and Mark Payton in the fourth.
"Any time we can end the inning on double play and get two for one is always big," Emanuel said. "That's just credit to our outfielders today. Those are two uncommon double plays, and I was fortunate to have two of them."
North Carolina fans, including basketball coach Roy Williams, began chanting "Heels, Heels, Heels" after Bunting's double in the top of the ninth, and they applauded as Emanuel emerged from his dugout to start the bottom half.
Fox never considered taking Emanuel out. Pitching coach Scott Forbes wouldn't let him anyway.
"We can tell when he's feeling it and he's throwing a lot of strikes," Fox said. "We wanted him to go back out there. Kent would have probably tried to strangle me anyway if I tried to take him out. I think he deserved to finish that game."
Emanuel needed only nine pitches to finish off the Longhorns, getting Tant Shepherd to pop out to first, Mark Payton to ground out and Brandon Loy to fly out to right.
The Tar Heels left a season-high 16 runners on base against Vanderbilt on Saturday, and they stranded runners at the corners in the first inning against Texas.
But Stallings came through with the bases loaded in the third, delivering a two-out single for a 2-0 lead.
"We thought it was going to be a game just like it was," Fox said. "That's typical of a lot of games we've won this year, not so much a complete-game shutout but just trying to scratch and claw and get a run or two here or there and try to hold the other team down and play defense."
Texas had been 8-1 in elimination games during the postseason, starting with the Big 12 tournament.
The Longhorns came to Omaha well-armed, but ace Taylor Jungmann gave them only 4 1/3 innings in the 8-4 loss to Florida and Monday's starter Cole Green got hit hard and lasted just two-plus innings.
Green (8-4) matched his shortest start of the season after having gone at least five innings in each of his 12 starts dating to March 27.
It was Green's second straight rough outing in Omaha. In 2009, he lasted one inning as the starter in the 11-4 championship-game loss to LSU.
"I think I was leaving the ball up early in the game," Green said. "I was just excited, the nerves were going."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Bob Stoops' recent comments about the SEC and the pending college football playoff, what appears to be an unpredictable Big 12 in 2013, how the Aggies will handle expectations and more.
Play Podcast Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin talks about the improvements being made to Kyle Field, what those improvements will to for the program, the success of last year, Johnny Manziel's offseason and the expectations for the Aggies in 2013.
Play Podcast Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo talk about Texas A&M's decision to expand its stadium and say although the Aggies had a fantastic year, the school must also be careful not to overextend its resources based on a single hot stretch.
Play Podcast Baylor head coach Art Briles joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what kind of player the Cowboys are getting in Terrance Williams.
Play Podcast Arlington and Texas A&M product Luke Joeckel, the potential No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Richard Durrett to discuss the draft, coaches and advice from his dad.
Play Podcast Florida Gulf Coast athletic director Ken Kavanagh joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his school's Cinderella story and playing in the Sweet 16 at Cowboys Stadium.
Play Podcast Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joins Fizsimmons & Durrett to discuss Cowboys Stadium as a venue, the state of Big 12 basketball, the new 2014 college football format, why there's no hurry to have a Big 12 football championship and much more.
Play Podcast Jay Bilas joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the remaining 16 teams in the NCAA tournament, the intrigue surrounding the Northwest Region and the excitement over FGCU, even though a similar story happens every year.