Mississippi State came into the NCAA tournament as one of the lower seeds. A bubble team, the school didn't even host a regional. Had it not swept No. 1 Florida in the final series of the regular season, it might not even be in the NCAA tournament.
Yet its unlikely run continues.
In its first game of the College World Series against Washington, Mississippi State (38-27) won 1-0. The game ended on a walk-off RBI single by short stop Luke Alexander.
Meanwhile, North Carolina beat Oregon State 8-6 on Saturday.
The College World Series is a new stage for these Tar Heel players. Yet they continue to win. The Tar Heels have won six consecutive games to start the NCAA tournament. It's the first time the Tar Heels have done that since 2008.
"I think our players are really enjoying it," UNC coach Mike Fox said. "I think they've got some resolve to them, but I also think they're striking that balance of fun and business."
Junior third baseman Kyle Datres, who is hitting .341 this season, said his team learned that it's good to get an early lead in the College World Series.
"We have a great bullpen, so any time we can get a lead and trust to go to them late in the game, it's definitely to our advantage," he said. "I think that was big for us to respond after they got a 1-0 lead."
The Tar Heels and the Bulldogs face off on Monday at 6 p.m. The winner of that game will play on Friday, while the loser will play on Wednesday.
Here's how the two teams stack up against one another statistically.
Team earned run average
Miss. State: 4.39
Team batting average
Miss. State: .281
Opponent's batting average
Miss. State: .267
Miss. State: 44
Runs per game
Miss. State: 6.1
Opponents' runs per game
Miss. State: 5.0
Miss. State: 1.1
On base percentage
Miss. State: .358
Miss. State: .972
Monday's probable starters
UNC: Austin Bergner (7-2, 4.28 ERA)
Miss. State: Konnor Pilkington (2-6, 4.56 ERA)
Mississippi State vs. North Carolina
When: Monday, 7 p.m.
Where: TD Ameritrade Park, Omaha, Neb.