By R.L. Bynum
How about some morning baseball this weekend?
The North Carolina-Arkansas Super Regional begins at 11 a.m. Saturday (ESPN) at Boshamer Stadium, with Sunday’s game at 1 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2). The time and TV for Monday’s game in the best-of-three series (if needed) are not set.
The No. 10 overall seed Tar Heels (42–20) are 7–2 in Super Regionals and are playing at this stage for the first time since losing a three-game home series to Auburn in 2019.
All-session ticket packages go on sale to the public at noon Thursday, pending availability, on this page.
Carolina pitcher Max Carlson will start Game 1 on seven days’ rest and Brandon Shaeffer will start Game 2 on five days’ rest, Coach Scott Forbes said Wednesday in ACC Network’s “Packer and Durham.”
Carolina has the most home runs in the NCAA tournament with 14 and Arkansas is second with 12.
The unseeded Razorbacks (41–19) advanced by winning the Stillwater Regional on Monday night with a 7–3 victory over host Oklahoma State. Arkansas beat Grand Canyon 7–1 and Oklahoma State 20–12 in its first two games. After losing Sunday to the Cowboys 14–10 in 10 innings, the Razorbacks won the regional title.
Arkansas took a four-game losing streak into the NCAA tournament. The Hogs lost their final two regular-season games at Alabama. In the SEC Tournament, the Hogs lost to Alabama and Florida to quickly get eliminated.
Sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace and senior designated hitter Brady Slavens both have 15 home runs for Arkansas, with right fielder Chris Lanzilli hitting .323 and catcher Michael Turner .310.
Two Razorback pitchers made the SEC All-Freshman team: right-hander Brady Tygard (3–4, 3.93 ERA, 8 saves) and left-hander Hagen Smith (6–2, 4.89 ERA).
Arkansas beat UNC 7–3 in a 1989 elimination game in the College World Series in the only previous baseball meeting between the schools.
UNC got there by battling through the losers bracket to win a regional for the first time in 10 tries since the current format was adopted in 1999.
The Tar Heels had to beat Georgia 6–5 and VCU 19–8 Sunday, and also beat VCU 7–3 in Monday’s championship game.
Chapel Hill Super Regional
North Carolina (42–20) vs. Arkansas (41–19)
Game 1 — 11 a.m. Saturday, ESPN
Game 2 — 1 p.m. Sunday, ESPN or ESPN2
Game 3 (if needed) — Time and TV TBA
NCAA tournament bracket
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletics Communications