Omaha, Neb. • Brian Holberton homered, Trent Thornton pitched a strong seven innings and No. 1 national seed North Carolina extended its stay at the College World Series with a 4-2 victory over LSU on Tuesday.
The Tar Heels (58-11) play North Carolina State or UCLA in an elimination game Thursday. The No. 4-seeded Tigers (57-11) went 0-2 in their first CWS appearance since winning the 2009 national title.
Holberton's 12th homer of the season staked the Tar Heels to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against LSU starter Cody Glenn (7-3), and Colin Moran singled to make it 3-0 in the third.
Thornton (12-1) worked around two singles and three walks to hold the Tigers scoreless until the fifth. Leading 4-2, Thornton walked Christian Ibarra to start the eighth and was relieved by Chris McCue. McCue worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and earned his second save.
UCLA 2, North Carolina State 1 • Nick Vander Tuig scattered four hits over seven-plus innings and UCLA produced just enough offense to defeat North Carolina State.
UCLA (46-17) moved within one victory of next week's best-of-three finals. The Wolfpack (50-15) will play an elimination game against North Carolina on Thursday.
UCLA used two walks, two singles and a wild pitch to scratch out a couple runs and go up 2-1 in the fifth. Two innings before, Vander Tuig tagged out a runner at the plate to keep the Wolfpack from adding to a 1-0 lead.
Vander Tuig (13-4) retired 13 of 14 batters heading into the eighth inning. David Berg came on after Vander Tuig gave up a leadoff single to Bryan Adametz.
O Tuesday's scores
• North Carolina 4, LSU 2
• UCLA 2, North Carolina State 1
• Oregon State vs. Indiana, 6 p.m.
• North Carolina vs. North Carolina State, 6 p.m.