Even Roy Williams takes note of Tar Heels' 1st sweep at FSU

By ERIC OLSON
AP Sports Writer

Roy Williams had a lot on his plate this weekend with his North Carolina basketball team playing in the Final Four on Saturday and getting ready for the national championship game Monday night. He still had time to keep tabs on the Tar Heels' baseball team, which posted its first road sweep against Florida State in program history.

Williams, who regularly attends games at Boshamer Stadium, offered congratulations to coach Mike Fox via text from his right-hand man Eric Hoots.

"He sent word from out in Phoenix that he was following our games and how excited he was that we had won down there," Fox said Monday. "Roy's always paying attention to all the sports at Carolina. He's a true Tar Heel in every sense of the word."

The Tar Heels (22-6, 9-3) have a three-game lead in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division and are ranked as high as No. 4 in this week's major polls.

The contributions came from up and down the roster, as they have all season, in the three wins in Tallahassee.

The Tar Heels won 5-2 in 11 innings on Saturday after freshman Michael Busch, who entered the weekend batting .161, broke up a no-hitter with a game-tying single in the ninth inning. They won 9-7 Sunday on Busch's tiebreaking two-out homer in the ninth.

Freshman designated hitter Ashton McGee, batting out of the 3-hole, went 4 for 11 with four RBIs in the series and is hitting .310 with 20 RBIs for the season. Now consider McGee is 17, graduated from high school in December and enrolled in January at Fox's urging because Fox had a hunch McGee could give the Tar Heels another good bat.

Redshirt freshman closer Josh Hiatt, held out last season because he was erratic, worked a combined 4 2/3 scoreless innings Friday and Saturday and earned the save in the opener. Hiatt is third in the country with 10 saves.

J.B. Bukauskas (5-0, 0.96 ERA) allowed three hits and struck out 10 in seven innings in Friday's 3-1 win, and Luca Dalatri (2-2, 2.61) has been a solid No. 2 starter.

The Tar Heels haven't been in the NCAA Tournament since 2014, and haven't gone three years between appearances since the mid-1980s. Fox said his players are determined to make a regional this year.

"It's been pretty neat to watch them," Fox said. "They came up with this 'next' deal where we don't let ourselves get too far ahead of ourselves. We had success at Florida State, so what's next? "

A look around the country:

BEAVERS BUSY WINNING

Top-ranked Oregon State (24-1, 9-0 Pac-12) extended the nation's longest win streak to a school-record 19 with a three-game sweep of Stanford. The Beavers collected 25 hits, their most in a game since 2008, in a 15-7 win Saturday. Their 7-0 victory Sunday ended Stanford's run of 10 straight wins when left-hander Chris Castellanos starts. Stanford coach Mark Marquess remains one win away from becoming the fifth coach in NCAA history to reach 1,600 career victories.

AUBURN ON ROLL

Auburn took two of three against South Carolina and has won seven straight series to open the season. The Tigers (23-7, 7-2 SEC), who beat the Gamecocks 6-5 Sunday on freshman Conor Davis' three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, have won 13 of 15 and already have matched last season's win total.

EAGLES FLYING HIGH

Southern Mississippi (24-5, 8-1 C-USA) has won 15 of 16 after outscoring Western Kentucky 24-2 in three weekend wins. The Golden Eagles hit five home runs Sunday and have 18 in their last eight games. Matt Wallner has gone deep a team-leading nine times.

MIGHTY MINNESOTA

Defending Big Ten regular-season champion Minnesota took three at Michigan State and has opened conference play with back-to-back sweeps for the first time since 2003. The Gophers' sweep of the Spartans was their first since 2007.

FROGS BACK ON TRACK

TCU won three straight at Kansas State and leads the Big 12 by 2 1/2 games over Oklahoma, Texas Tech and West Virginia. Jared Janczak (5-0, 1.86 ERA) on Friday carried a perfect game into the seventh and gave up two hits in nine shutout innings in a 5-0, 11-inning win. The Horned Frogs have won eight straight and 10 of 11 since dropping three of four on the West Coast in mid-March.