The moment North Carolina's baseball team has been waiting for has finally arrived. No. 6 UNC will play in the College World Series on Saturday against No. 3 Oregon State.
It is the first time the Tar Heels have made it to this stage in Omaha, Neb., since 2013, when it seemed like they were a mainstay in the College World Series.
The College World Series is the biggest stage in college baseball. The top eight teams who came out of the 64-team bracket will play for the title. But it's hard to win one. Every team that has made it to this stage is tough.
UNC and Oregon State have met before in the College World Series. Both times were in the championship game in 2006 and 2007 and Oregon State won both times. But this year feels different, UNC coach Mike Fox said Tuesday.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"I don't think everything that goes along with this will be that big of a factor with this group," Fox said. "I think they'll be ready to play."
UNC pitcher Luca Dalatri said its no coincidence that the Tar Heels are playing in Omaha.
"It hasn't been so much a team," Dalatri said. "It's been more kind of a bunch of friends, showing up to the field every day."
The Tar Heels will play in a four-team round robin double elimination bracket first. Also in UNC's bracket is Washington and Mississippi State. The winner will advance to the College World Series finals.
But first up is Oregon State, one of the best teams in the country, and a regular in the College World Series. Here is how the Tar Heels stack up against the Beavers:
Oregon State: .320
Runs per game
Oregon State: 7.7
Runs allowed per game
Oregon State: 3.7
Hits per game
Oregon State: 11
Home runs per game
Oregon State: 1
On base percentage
Oregon State: .417
Oregon State: .973
Oregon State: 3.26
Oregon State: 526
2018 NCAA tournament record
Oregon State: 5-0