Left fielder Kole Calhoun went 2 for 3 with six RBI's and Arizona State rolled to a 12-5 victory over North Carolina before a sellout crowd of 25,000 Thursday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Arizona State, who is making their 21st College World Series appearance in school history, improved to 7-1 in the NCAA Tournament, 51-13 on the season and will meet top-seeded Texas on Friday at 4 PM Pacific.
North Carolina, who was playing in their eighth CWS, finished the NCAA Tournament 6-2 and finished the season 48-18.
Arizona State plated 12 unanswered runs after UNC jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the fourth inning. The Sun Devils crossed the plate four times in the fifth and eight more times in the seventh to give 25th-year head coach Pat Murphy his 1,000 career win (1,000-456-4).
Five consecutive batters reached base with one out in the Arizona State half of the fifth. Shortstop Drew Maggi reached on a fielder's choice before center fielder Jason Kipnis and catcher Carlos Ramirez drew walks to load the bases. Calhoun followed by crushing a grand slam to right center, his 12th long ball of the campaign and third in the CWS.
The Sun Devils proceeded to break things wide open in the seventh when thirteen men came to the plate. The inning included eight runs, five hits, four walks, three pitching changes, two stolen bases, one hit batter and one passed ball.
ASU's second largest inning of the year was highlighted by Calhoun's two-run double, second baseman Zack MacPhee's two-run single, Maggi's two-run base knock and Ramirez's RBI single.
Calhoun, MacPhee and Kipnis all registered multi-hit games for Arizona State, while Calhoun, MacPhee and Maggi recorded more than one RBI each.
Arizona State left hander Josh Spence, who used 126 pitches in the contest, improved to 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament and 10-1 overall with the win.
Right-hander Colin Bates, North Carolina's third of seven pitchers in the affair, slipped to 4-4 with the loss.
Left fielder Ben Bunting, center fielder Mike Cavasinni, right fielder Garrett Gore and third baseman Kyle Seager all turned in multi-hit performances for UNC. The Tar Heels collected 11 hits on the night, their ninth consecutive game with double figure base knocks.
North Carolina raced out to a 4-0 lead with one run in the second and three in the fourth.
DH Jacob Stallings brought home the first Tar Heel score in each frame with a pair of safety squeezes. Cavasinni and shortstop Ryan Graepel followed with back to back RBI singles in the fourth to give the Tar Heels a four run cushion.
That's when ASU took over and never looked back as 18 Sun Devils reached base in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth frames.
UNC first baseman Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick in this year's Major League Baseball Draft, finished 1for 5 with a ninth inning single. The base knock extended Ackley's NCAA Tournament hitting streak to 22 games and increased his College World Series all time best hit total to 28.
The result was ASU's second win over North Carolina in the 2009 CWS. The Sun Devils also posted a 5-2, 10 inning win over the Tar Heels in the opening round on Sunday.
Fifth seeded Arizona State was ranked No. 2 in the latest Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association polls, while fourth-seeded North Carolina was ranked No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA polls.
Texas can advance to the College World Championship Series with a win on Friday. An ASU win would force the "if necessary" game for Bracket Two on Saturday.