Auburn beats UNC 14-7 to return to College World Series

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Auburn scored 13 runs in the first inning to stun host North Carolina en route to a 14-7 victory Monday that sent the Tigers to the College World Series for the first time since 1997.

Judd Ward hit a three-run homer and Edouard Julien and Matt Scheffler each had two-run singles in the Tigers’ overwhelming opening act, which turned the rest of the deciding game in the best-of-three NCAA super-regional series into a formality.

The Tigers (38-26) finished with the second most runs in an inning of an NCAA Tournament game. The barrage began when UNC starter Joey Lancellotti walked the game’s first four batters, the first sign of trouble for the Tar Heels’ normally reliable pitching staff.

Auburn had nine first-inning hits while UNC needed 65 pitches to record three outs before the Tar Heels (46-19) had even sent a batter to the plate.

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