OMAHA, Neb. — For the second straight night, North Carolina used a late home run to avoid elimination in the College World Series.
Now, the Tar Heels have to do it again.
Third baseman Chad Flack's belted a two-run shot in the eighth inning to give UNC a 4-3 come-from-behind win against Fresno State and forced a decisive rematch with the Bulldogs at Rosenblatt Stadium at 7 p.m. Sunday.
The winner will advance to play Georgia in the best-of-three championship series, beginning Monday.
Carolina trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth when second baseman Kyle Seager smacked a double to center field. Then Flack — in his record 70th CWS at bat — blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall. It marked his first home run in Omaha and fifth career homer in the NCAA tournament.
It was reminiscent — and as timely — of the grand slam catcher Tim Federowicz smacked over the same wall to beat LSU in the ninth inning Friday and avoid elimination.
After a 48-minute weather delay, Carolina right-hander Matt Harvey went to the mound for his second consecutive CWS start. Harvey allowed one hit and one run in two innings Friday against LSU.
He quickly gave up a run to Fresno State on leftfielder Steve Susdorf's RBI single in the first inning that brought home Gavin Hedstrom.
Then, after UNC left six men on base in the first three innings — thanks in part to two double plays turned by the Bulldogs — Fresno State's Tommy Mendonca slammed a two-run homer over the right field wall to make it 3-0. It marked Mendonca's 17th home run of the season.
In the bottom of the fourth, with Bulldogs starter Justin Wilson still on the mound, UNC chipped back when Flack doubled. Garrett Gore singled to center, then Seth Williams hit an RBI single that brought Flack home, cutting the lead to 3-1 with only one out.
Wilson then walked his fifth batter of the game, Ryan Graepel, loading the bases for leadoff hitter Dustin Ackley. Ackley's fielder's choice RBI brought home Gore to cut it to 3-2. With runners at the corners, Kyle Shelton struck out swinging, leaving UNC's seventh and eighth runners of the game on base.
Once again, ACC Pitcher of the Year Alex White got the Tar Heels out of a late-game jam.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, the No. 1 starter made his second straight relief appearance and ended the inning with two straight strikeouts. He then forced the Bulldogs to go three-up, three-down with another strikeout to end the top of the eighth.
After Flack's home run, White finished the game by retiring the Bulldogs in order to pick up his second straight win in relief.