Tar Heels use ace to save clinching win
College baseball: Colin Moran hit an RBI triple in a three-run sixth inning and staff ace Kent Emanuel picked up his first career save by getting the final two outs to help North Carolina beat South Carolina 5-4 on Tuesday, sending the No. 1 overall seed to the College World Series.
Brian Holberton hit a two-run homer for the Tar Heels (57-10), who trailed 4-2 before pushing ahead for good in the sixth to win the decisive third game in the weather-delayed super regional series at Chapel Hill, N.C. It will be the Tar Heels’ sixth trip to Omaha in eight seasons.
Reliever Trent Thornton (11-1) earned the win, allowing one earned run over 4 2/3 innings. Then Emanuel – who had thrown 238 pitches in the NCAA tournament – came on for a pair of one-pitch outs that sent the UNC players spilling out of the dugout and onto the field to celebrate.
North Carolina will see a familiar opponent in Omaha – the Tar Heels will open CWS play Sunday against in-state and Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina State.
Patriots confirm signing of Tebow
NFL: Tim Tebow has a new team.
The New England Patriots announced the signing of the polarizing quarterback with the poor throwing motion, six weeks after he was cut by the New York Jets and just in time for the start of the three-day minicamp that runs through Thursday.
“Anything we do, we feel is in the best interests of the team,” coach Bill Belichick said at a standing-room-only news conference before practice. “We’ll see how it goes.”
With 15 video cameras and more than 40 media members in the audience, Belichick said, “We’ve been in front of bigger crowds before.”
Tebow, 25, is being reunited with Josh McDaniels, the Patriots offensive coordinator who was Denver’s head coach when the Broncos traded into the first round to take him with the 25th draft pick in 2010.
There is no guarantee that Tebow will still be with the Patriots when training camp begins next month, but if the Patriots keep him, he would have time to develop as a quarterback since Tom Brady holds that job. Tebow even could be tried at tight end, where the status of Rob Gronkowski is uncertain after he had his fourth operation on his broken left forearm on May 20 and faces back surgery this month.
• Callahan will call plays for Dallas: Jason Garrett has finally acknowledged that he won’t call plays for the Dallas Cowboys next season.
The Cowboys coach said that Bill Callahan will assume a role Garrett has had since joining the Dallas staff in 2007.
• Stallworth returns: Donte Stallworth has recovered from serious burn injuries suffered in a hot air balloon crash and is practicing with the Washington Redskins.
Stallworth took part in minicamp as a tryout player, but coach Mike Shanahan said he hopes to sign the veteran receiver this week.
Stallworth and his then-girlfriend were riding in a hot air balloon in March when the balloon clipped a power line. Stallworth said parts of his body were literally on fire.
• Bradshaw joins Colts: The Indianapolis Colts agreed to terms with unrestricted free agent Ahmad Bradshaw, adding a veteran running back to their crowded backfield.
The 27-year-old Bradshaw spent seven seasons with the New York Giants, but left the team in February – one of a handful of high-salaried players released as part of roster purge intended to clear up salary cap room and bring in younger talent.
He ran for 1,015 yards on 221 carries and scored six touchdowns last season, but missed four games.
• Ravens release Leach: Vonta Leach has been released by the Baltimore Ravens, who failed to agree on a restructured contract with the All-Pro fullback.
Leach was an integral part of a running game that helped the Ravens become champions last season. Paving the way for standout halfback Ray Rice, Leach made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons with Baltimore.
Putin lifts alcohol ban for 2018 World Cup
Miscellany: President Vladimir Putin has lifted Russia’s ban on alcohol at sports events for the 2018 World Cup, and signed a law granting FIFA the right to approve commerce and advertising around all stadiums during the event.
• Exhibition announced: Serena and Venus Williams will kick off the Rogers Cup with a doubles exhibition against Monica Seles and Eugenie Bouchard of Canada at Toronto.
The match will be played on Centre Court at the Rexall Centre on Aug. 5 on the opening night of the weeklong WTA tournament.