UNC vs Oregon State Live Blog: Game 2, 2007 College World Series Finals

Tonight UNC and Oregon State play game 2 of the College World Series Finals in Omaha. The beavers dominated game 1, pitching well and decimating the Tar Heels bullpen in an 11-4 victory. However, Wooten and Carignan weren’t used on Saturday, so they should be fresh. Luke Putkonen needs to come up big on the mound for Carolina tonight. The Heels bats need to wake up tonight as well, or else they will get swept.

7:13 pm: Luke Putkonen is off to a good start. It took him very few pitches to retire the side on a groundout and two flyouts to center. Three up, three down.

7:16 pm: Bottom of the first. Reid Fronk gets on base to lead off the inning, courtesy of a hit by pitch. We now reach the magic number of 50 hit batsmen in this year’s CWS.

7:18 pm: Josh Horton is moved up to 2nd in the order, and he hits a single to left-center field. Fronk advances to third, and Dustin Ackley is up next. Please, lord, let’s not leave men on base this time.

7:19 pm: Ackley’s grounder makes it past the third baseman, and Fronk scores easily. UNC has drawn first blood, leading 1-0.

7:21 pm: Tim Federowicz, by sheer luck, manages to execute the sacrifice bunt, advancing runners to second and third with only one out. Mike Stutes is not off to a great start.

7:24 pm: Tim Fedroff hits a grounder to first base, but Lennarton throws out Horton at home to prevent an extra run. Two outs, runners on the corners.

7:25 pm: Seth Williams harmlessly flies out to left field. UNC leads 1-0 at the end of the first inning, but they should have done a lot more.

7:29 pm: Top of the second. Mitch Canham gets on base, as the grounder to third is just out of Chad Flack’s reach.

7:30 pm: Nooooooo!!! Darwin Barney makes the Tar heels pay for not running up the score in the first inning, hitting a 2-run homer that just gets over the left field wall. Oregon State leads, 2-1.

7:34 pm: Putkonen is in trouble. After the home run, John Wallace gets a single, and Scott Santchi is walked. Andrew Carignan is already warming up.

7:37 pm: Putkonen finally gets an out, but there are runners on the corners with only one out.

7:40 pm: Lechelt strikes out, and Putkonen now has two away. However, a wild pitch advanced Santchi to second.

7:42 pm: Hopkins grounds the ball to third base, and Flack’s throw is low to first base. Ackley is forced off the bag, Hopkins is safe, and one run scores. 3-1, Oregon State. Ugh.

7:45 pm: Joey Wong is walked, and now the bases are loaded. That should be it for Putkonen. Andrew Carignan will come in. Once again, our starting pitching has betrayed us.

7:54 pm: Speaking of betraying…stupid WordPress is malfunctioning! Anyway, Carignan struck out Mike Lissman to end the inning and get out of the jam. Oregon State still takes a 3-1 lead.

Kyle Seager and Chad Flack both flied out, for two quick outs. Garret Gore is up next.

7:56 pm: Garret Gore strikes out to end the inning. Oregon State leads 3-1 after 2, and the Tar Heel bats are falling silent again.

8:00 pm: Top of the third. Mitch Canham leads off with a ground single past Horton.

8:01 pm: Darwin Barney grounds out to Ackley, but Canham advances to 2nd.

8:04 pm: Uh-oh. Carignan walks John Wallace. If Andrew Carignan is struggling on the mound for UNC, then we are completely f–ked.

8:05 pm: No sooner do I type that than Scott Santchi hits a bloop single that scores Canham from third. We are in serious trouble.

8:07 pm: Lennarton grounds out to the merciful inning ending double play. Oregon State extends their lead to 4-1 in the middle of the third.

8:11 pm: Bottom of the third. Fronk gets walked, and he’s gotten on base twice without having to even take a swing.

8:13 pm: Base hit by Horton. He hits a line drive into shallow left, and the Heels have runners on first and second with no outs, and Ackley at the plate.

8:19 pm: Ackley is walked to load the bases. No outs, and Federowicz is at the plate.

8:21 pm: Oregon State forces out Ackley at third from the Federowicz grounder, but Fronk scores easily, and the deficit is now 4-2.

8:23 pm: Dammit! Just as it looks like we’re coming back, Fedroff strikes out on three pitches. Two outs.

8:25 pm: Seth Williams flies out to shallow left to end the inning. Once again, we squander an opportunity to make a big comeback. Oregon State leads, 4-2. This is really frustrating.

8:30 pm: Carignan is back to very efficient pitching, retiring the side easily and striking out Joey Wong to end the inning. UNC still trails 4-2 in the middle of the 4th.

8:34 pm: Kyle Seager hits a single up the middle to lead off the bottom of the 4th.

8:35 pm: Chad Flack’s slump continues, as he flies out to the 2nd baseman in shallow right. One away.

8:40 pm: Garrett Gore strikes out for the second out. Fortunately, UNC returns to the top of the order and Fronk.

8:42 pm: Fronk strikes out to end the inning, as the UNC offense continues to struggle. Oregon State leads 4-2 after 4.

8:48 pm: Carignan is not off to a very good start in the 5th inning. He’s hit the first batter and walked the second.

8:51 pm: Carolina turns the grounder by Barney into a 6-4-3 DP. Two outs, a runner on third. I think Carignan should finish the inning, and then the Hells will put Wooten on the mound in the 6th.

8:53 pm: Wallace gets a base hit to left, and Lissman scores easily to make it 5-2, Oregon State.

8:56 pm: Base hit by Santchi right at the pitcher, and Wallace advances to third.

8:58 pm: Carignan gets out of the jam, as Lennarton flies out to end the inning…”…And the milkshakes from Zestos have arrived. Mmmm-mmm.” You gotta laugh at announcers. Oregon State leads, 5-2.

9:02 pm: Horton flies out to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

9:03 pm: HOME RUN! Dustin Ackley Sends one depp over the right field wall. UNC cuts the lead to 2, trailing 5-3.

9:05 pm: Tim Federowicz is not having a good trip to Omaha. He’s 2-25 now in the College World Series.

9:07 pm: Fedroff has a two out base hit, and Seth Williams is up next. A home run would tie the game.

9:09 pm: Stutes walks Williams to put runners on first and second and two outs. The bullpen is warming up.

9:12 pm: Yet another opportunity wasted by the Heels, as Seager grounds out to Lennarton at first base to end the inning. 5-3, Oregon State after 5.

9:16 pm: Top of the sixth. Lechelt gets on base to lead off, but Hopkins’ sacrifice bunt pops up, and Ackley catches it for the out.

9:19 pm: Joey Wong gets on base, and that will be it for Andrew Carignan. Rob Wooten will come to the mound in his place.

9:21 pm: Lissman flies out to Horton. Two outs, two on.

9:24 pm: Wooten strikes out Mitch Canham to end the top of the 6th. UNC is still within two runs, trailing 5-3.

9:32 pm: After Garret Gore gets to secon base, Mike Stutes is pulled in favor of reliever Anton Maxwell. Reid Fronk is up to bat.

9:35 pm: The Tar Heels continue to struggle. Reid Fronk flies out to right field for the second out. The heels are now 3 for their last 32 iwith runners in scoring position.

9:36 pm: Horton is hit by a pitch, and with two outs and runners on the corners, Ackley is at the plate with the chance to get a run, tie or take the lead.

9:38 pm: Ackley hits a near perfect line drive to left field, but Lissman makes the catch to end the inning. Oregon State leads 5-3, as our offensive plight is now such a statistical anomaly that it is simply ridiculous. If you want to watch something else (and I don’t blame you), “Enter the Dragon”, the ultimate Kung Fu movie, is on Spike TV.

9:42 pm: After Darwin Barney strikes out, John Wallace hits a triple to right field.

9:43 pm: Gore can’t field the ground ball, and Wallace scores easily. Oregon State leads 6-3, and at this point I’m so mad that I am ready to wipe the town of Corvallis, Oregon off the map. I mean, it’s not like anyone’s going to miss it, right?

9:49 pm: Seth Williams makes an unbelievable catch to end the top of the 7th, but Oregon State leads 7-3, and things are not looking good for UNC. Even our fundamentals are falling apart.

9:53 pm: Grbavac is now pitching for the Beavers, and Mike Cavasinni is pinch hitting for the Tar Heels. He ground out for the first out of the bottom of the 7th inning.

9:55 pm: Tim Fedroff hits a chop single over the pitcher, and Seth Williams is next.

9:58 pm: Seth Williams smokes a line drive down the left field line. Fedroff heads home, but Oregon State’s relaying gets the ball in time to the catcher, and Fedroff is out at home.

10:01 pm: Seager strikes out to end the inning, and the Heels come up empty AGAIN! Oregon State leads, 7-3.

10:08 pm: Top pf the eighth. After one out, Robert Woodard comes in for Wooten.

10:13 pm: Woodard is able to get out of the inning without allowing any runs. The last out was a great running catch by Fedroff. However Oregon State still leads, 7-3.

10:20 pm: The bottom of the eighth ends more mercifully for the Tar Heels: three up, three down. At least we didn’t get our hopes up only to be crushed for the 17th time today. Oregon State leads, 7-3.

10:27 pm: Lennarton sends a Woodard pitch out of Rosenblatt Stadium, and with it any remote hope that UNC had of coming back. Oregon State leads, 9-3.

10:32 pm: You know I could blame this loss on our bad starting pitching. I could blame it on our bats falling silent. I could even blame on our failure at times to make even the most routine plays. But we need a better scapegoat. So I will blame the NCAA Selection Committee. Oregon State was a bubble team, having lost most of their players, and with a losing record in the Pac-10. If Georgia Tech is selected instead (and I was legitimately surprised that they were snubbed), we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

In case you were wondering that was sarcasm. We lost because we just plain stunk.

10:36 pm: Bottom of the 9th. Horton lines out to Third, and Ackley grounds out to second. Kyle Shelton is now our last chance.

10:38pm: Fittingly, Shelton strikes out on a full count to end the game, and Oregon State is your National Champion, winning 9-3. 

It sucks. It just plain sucks. Words fail. We were very lucky to be here in the first place, pulling a lot of miracle comebacks when our pitching didn’t come through. When we reached the final, our luck simply ran out, when we ran into a very disciplined Oregon State team. Congratulations to the Beavers, but for what what you have done, you now draw my absolute ire. I mean it when I say this: If you ever play against Duke, I will root for you to get swept.

UNC vs. Oregon State Live Blog: 2007 College World Series Final Game 1

Tonight the finals of the College World Series begin with game 1, as the North Carolina Tar heels will seek to avenge last year’s loss to the Oregon State Beavers in the 2006 Finals. For a preview of the Series, see my preview on Digital Headbutt or Brian Foley’s College Baseball Blog.

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The size disparity of the pictures is on purpose. It represents their respective places in my heart.

 

7:10 pm: I hate it when we put on those alternate black uniforms.

7:15 pm: UNC is the road team, with Oregon State as the home team.

Reid Fronk hits a double on the very first pitch. That hit nearly became a home run, but bounced off the wall.

7:17 pm: Tim Fedroff hits the very next pitch deep into left field, but the OSU right fielder is there to make the catch. One out.

7:19 pm: Josh Horton strikes out swinging. Reyes has a good fastball.

7:22 pm: It wouldn’t be announcing on ESPN without some very awkward references. World Series rings on sale at MySpace? What the hell?

Federowicz strikes out to end the inning. Fronk is left on base, and the game is scoreless heading to the bottom of the first.

7:25 pm: Alex White is the starter tonight for the Heels. His stuff is good early; his fastball is in the low to mid-90s.

7:26 pm: Chris Hopkins hits a short grounder to third, but Chad Flack can’t get the throw to first in time. Runner on first, no outs.

7:28 pm: Right now, Alex White is worrying too much about Hopkins at first. He needs to worry about getting out the guy at the plate.

7:30 pm: Joey Wong gets a line drive base hit into right field. Runners on first and second, nobody out. White is off to a bad start, not just because of the base hits, but also because he’s throwing a lot of pitches early.

7:31 pm: Ohhh! What a catch by White! Lissman, Oregon State’s power hitter, tries to bunt but the ball flies in the air, and White races to makes the catch in foul territory.

7:33 pm: Mitch Canham grounds the ball right to White, who throws Hopkins out at third, and Flack throws to first for a great inning ending double play, the first DP for the Beavers in the CWS. We are scoreless after the first inning. Alex White may not be our best pitcher, but he has done a great job of fielding so far tonight.

7:37 pm: Second inning. Dustin Ackley hits a grounder down the middle for an easy base hit.

Dustin Ackley is an unbelievable player. Not only is he our best hitter (.403 batting average), but he is our best baserunner.

7:41 pm: Chad Flack lines out to left field. One out, Ackley still at first. Reyes is worrying a lot about Dustin.

7:44 pm: More awkward references by announcing staff. Meat? YouTube? Makeup? What happened to the game, guys?

7:46 pm: Ackley is picked off at first base, and Seager flies out to end the inning. The Tar Heel offense continues to struggle early in games.

7:49 pm: Beaver Darwin Barney is up to bat. Heh heh, Darwin Barney. Alex White strikes him out.

7:51 pm: John Wallace strikes out swinging. Alex is throwing a really good fastball right now.

7:53 pm: White walks Scott Santchi. Runner on first, two outs.

Seriously, ESPN, now you’re talking about holistic therapy? Good lord.

7:54 pm: Scott Lennarton swings at Aex’s fastball and sends it into Iowa for a HOME RUN. Oregon state draws first blood, leading 2-0. Not again…

7:56 pm: The next batter grounds out to end the inning, but Oregon State leads 2-0 after 2. The story is starting to get really old for Carolina.

7:58 pm: …and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from that new win probability statistic. Amen.

7:59 pm: Seth Williams flies out to right field. One away to begin the third.

8:03 pm: Gore and Fronk are retired easily, and Oregon State still leads 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third. Reyes is really pitching well right now.

8:06 pm: Bottom of the third. Chris Hopkins flies out to right foul territory for the first out.

8:07 pm: Wong gets a great bunt to get to first and best the throw from Flack.

I’m going to be honest with you: watching college baseball is a lot more fun in person than it is on TV.

8:10 pm: Lissman hits a great line drive into right field, betwenn the first and second basemen. Wong easily reaches third.

8:11 pm: UNC gets really lucky. Canham hits a deep ball into center field, but Seth Williams makes the catch, and because Lissman was running at full speed all the way from first, Williams easily converts the double play at first to end the inning. However, Wong’s run home is officially tallied. 3-0, Oregon State.

I am under the distinct impression that the run does not count for a fly ball, inning-ending double play. Even if it’s legal, that call is bull.

8:16 pm: Fedroof gets a leadoff double. He had to really hurry to beat the throw at second. Horton is now at the plate.

8:17 pm: Horton hits a deep flyout to center, but Fedroff tags up and beats the throw to third.

8:18 pm: Fedrowicz flies outto center, and Fedroff cannot run home.

8:19 pm: Dustin Ackley caps off three straight flyouts to end the third inning. Oregon State leads, 3-0, as UNC is now .195 in the CWS with runners in scoring position.

8:22 pm: Fedroff catches the fly ball for the first out of the fourth inning.

According to Kyle Peterson, the play allowing Wong to score at the top of the 3rd inning is legal, because it was an “appeal play” instead of a force play. Okay, it’s in the rulebook. However, the call is still crap.

8:27 pm: If there’s one thing that the Heels have done well in the CWS, it’s their fielding. Oregon State had not hit into any double plays so far in Omaha. Tonight, UNC has already converted three. The fourth inning ends with UNC still trailing by three. But all the fielding in the world won;t matter if we can’t hit tonight.

8:31 pm: Flack grounds out to lead off the 5th inning, ans the Tar Heel bats continue to struggle.

8:34 pm: Seth Williams is jammed by the pitcher, but still manages to hit a blooper base hit just out of Wong’s reach. Two outs, man on first.

If I heard the stat correctly, Reyes has only had to throw 34 pitches to retire 14 batters. That is scary.

8:36 pm: Gore hits a line to the right field line, easily getting a double and putting Williams on third. Two outs, and Reid Fronk is up.

8:40 pm: Frink finally gives UNC the big hit they needed. He hits a deep ball into the left-center gap for a double. Williams and Gore score easily, and UNC has cut the deficit to 3-2. Fedroff is now up. I simply cannot tell you how many runs we got against South Carolina in this exact situation. Down late in the game, two outs, and UNC’s offense comes up big. Still, I never expect it when it happens.

8:44 pm: Fedroff flies out to end the top of the fifth, but Oregeon State’s lead is now 3-2 thanks to a big 2-run double by Fronk.

8:47 pm: I don;t care what the win probability stat says, were in a pretty good situation. Were at the exact midway point of the game, we’re only down one run, and our starting pitcher is still on the mound. We’ve come back from much worse.

8:48 pm: After Lennarton grounds out, Lonnie Lechelt hits a line drive double down the left field line. Oregon State now goes back to the top of the order.

8:49 pm: Hopkins hits a line drive that trickles into the outfield. Lechelt scores easily, and the Beavers now lead 4-2. The baseball gods must be punishing my previous statement.

8:51 pm: Wong hits a grounder, and UNC converts its fourth inning-ending double play. After 5 innings, Oregon State has a 4-2 lead. How much longer will Alex be able to pitch?

8:54 pm: Horton leads off in the sixth, and he juuuuuuuuust beats the throw to first by Lennarton. One on, nobody out.

8:57 pm: Federowicz nearly grounds out into a double play. Horton is out at second, but Tim beats the throw at first.

It’s still hard to get over the 3rd inning call that gave Wong the run to give Oregon State their 3 run lead. According to commenter Tom Anderson:

Page 99 paragraph 9 of the NCAA rules says that with two outs on an appealed play “no runners PRECEEDING [sic] or following the appealed out shall score.” If this is the correct section of the rule book, the run should not have counted.

Good work, Tom. I may need to do some more research, but this rule seconds what I and the ESPN announcers believe: that the umpires made the wrong call. However, I will say that they have otherwise done a good job tonight.

9:00 pm: Ackley strikes out. Two away, Federowicz at first, and Reyes is still pitching well.

9:02 pm: Flack lines out to third to end the inning. Oregon State leads in the middle of the 6th as UNC’s offense is till struggling.

9:05 pm: Bottom of the 6th. White is still pitching, but is he going to run out of gas?

9:06 pm: Ackley makes a great play to stop the grounder, and throws to White at first. One away.

9:07 pm: Mitch Canham has a really, really long rod. Fishing rod, that is.

9:08 pm: Alex White may have injured himself in the forceout at first. He got a blister on his middle throwing finger from his pitching, forcing him to get pulled from the game. Matt Danford is called in to pitch in relief. Overall, White did a pretty good job today, but Reyes has been extraordinary.

9:11 pm: “Barney is a dinosaur in our imaginaaaa-tionn…” Please, tell me that he’s a figment of my imagination. Another hit for the Beavers, who now have runners on the corners.

9:13 pm: John Wallace hits a deep ball to center field. Williams makes the catch, but Canham scores from first, Barney advances to second, and Oregon State now leads 5-2.

9:15 pm: Santchi gets a hit into left field, and Barney beats the throw from Reid Fronk. Oregon State now leads 6-2, and Danford has to come out. Things are looking really bad for the Heels now.

9:18 pm: In pitching for the Tar heels is someone named Rob Catapano, whom I have never heard of before. You know our pitching’s in trouble when we have to dig this deep into our bullpen, pulling out complete unknowns.

9:19 pm: Fortunately, Catapano gets the final out to end the 6th inning, but Oregon State continues to expand their lead, which is now 6-2. If not for the double by Fronk this would be an embarrassment.

9:23 pm: Top of the seventh. Kyle Seager grounds out directly to the second baseman.

9:24 pm: Seth Williams get an easy base hit to right field. In the stands, the UNC constituency still hopes for a comeback. “TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS!…”

9:26 pm: Gore is walked, and with the top of UNC’s order looming, Reyes finally comes out of the game. He did an excellent job of pitching, but UNC has been able to come back once they begin batting against the opposing bullpen. Let’s hope it happens again tonight.

9:28 pm: Runners on first and second, one out. The new pitcher: Oregon State’s fourth starter, Joe Paterson. Uh-oh.

9:30 pm: Paterson uses a side-arm pitch, and it doesn’t seem to be working. He walks Fronk to load the bases for Tim Fedroff.

9:32 pm: Fedroff flies out to right field, but Williams scores from third. The score is now 6-3, OSU. Two outs, runners on first and second, Horton at the plate.

9:34 pm: Horton strikes out swinging to end the top of the 7th and leave two runners stranded. The Beavers still have a commanding 6-3 lead heading into the 7th inning stretch.

9:36 pm: If we want any chance of winning this game, UNC needs shutout innings from their bullpen. Again.

9:43 pm: Tyler Trice is in for Catapano, and things aren’t going well. He makes two bad throws to first, and the second one sails over Ackley, easily scoring two runs. Oregon State now leads 8-3, and the way that the beaver pitching staff is playing, I have to say that this game is pretty much over.

9:49 pm: Matt Cox now comes in to pitch.

9:53 pm: Cox walks Canham to load the bases. This is not good.

9:55 pm: The Heels walk in a run, and OSU extends the lead to 9-3. In a word, our performance in this game has been sickening.

9:59 pm: Cox is pulled for yet another pitcher. Oregon State scores again on a sacrifice fly to make it 10-3, Oregon State.

If you’re looking for an excuse, blame Alex White’s blister. if he didn;t have to be pulled so early, this might still be a one run game. Our bullpen has failed us…miserably.

10:01 pm: UNC gets another inning-ending double play, but not before everything possible went wrong for the Tar Heels. Oregon State now has a 7 run lead.

10:05 pm: Top of the eighth. Benji Johnson comes in to pinch hit for Federowicz, and it pays off. Johnson hits a home run, cutting the lead to 10-4. Still, I wouldn’t get any hopes up just yet.

10:06 pm: After Ackley grounds out, Chad Flack gets an easy base hit. Kyle Shelton comes in for Kyle Seager.

10:08 pm: Shleton gets another base hit for the Tar Heels, and we now have runners on first and second with one out.

Oregon State has two pitchers warming up in the bullpen, ready to crush any comeback attempt.

10:10 pm: Just when it looks like UNC might come back, Seth Williams grounds into the inning ending double play from third base. Oregon State leads 10-4, and it looks like UNC is officially done in this game.

10:24 pm: Our bullpen is finding all new kinds of ways to suck. With the bases loaded, Oregon State scores on a HBP. After 8 innings, Oregon State leads 11-4.

10:30 pm: You know you’re in trouble when your hopes rest on Bryan Steed.

10:32 pm: Amazingly, Steed beats the throw to first, but Horton strikes out to end the game. Oregon State wins 11-4, and are now within one game of repeating. Let’s hope that Luke Putkonen has a big day tomorrow, and that our bats will finally wake up.

College World Series Live Blog: UNC vs. Rice

Tonight the Tar Heels play Rice for the right to play Oregon State in the 2007 College World Series Final (and for UNC, a chance at revenge). The fate of the Heels lies in the arm of freshman Alex White sophomore Adam Warren, who had a terrible performance in his first CWS appearance against Rice on Sunday. Can he regain his control on the mound tonight? Will UNC need to mount another comeback? Is this where their luck will run out? We’re about to find out.

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7:07 pm: UNC is the home team, and Rice the road team tonight.

Another piece of luck: the main reason we were able to score 3 runs in one inning against the Owls yesterday because of defensive errors. Yet another example of how we have been often as lucky as we have been good.

7:09 pm: CORRECTION: Manager Mike Fox has decided to start Adam Warren in this game, even though it is White’s turn in the rotation. He’s 10-0 in the regular season, but all of his starts have been against far inferior opponents. Still, he filled in well for Woodard against Miss. State last Friday.

7:11 pm: Wow. He retired his first two batters in 3-4 pitches, and retired the side with relative ease. UNC is playing excellent defense, but Warren is pitching well to start the game. 3 up, 3 down.

7:16 pm: UNC’s offense doesn’t fare any better to begin the game. Rice commits an error, but the the Rice pitcher was able to force a groundout and two flyouts to retire the side. Scoreless after 1.

7:22 pm: Top of the 2nd. Warren fields the grounder to retire leadoff hitter and Phillies 1st round pick Joe Savery.

7:23 pm: Seth Willams catches the flyball. Two down.

7:24 pm: Six up, six down for Warren. An excellent pitching performance so far.

7:26 pm: HOME RUN! I think it’s safe to say that Dustin Ackley is out of his hitting slump. That was a rocket over the center field wall. 1-0, UNC to start the bottom of the 2nd.

7:29 pm: After Chad Flack flies out, Kyle Seager gets on base on a HBP. There have already been 46 hit batsmen in this years CWS, shattering the old record of 36. And we still have the championship series.

7:30 pm: I don’t like this “win probability” stat. I would prefer the great suspense of wondering what will happen, not knowing what statistically should happen. And this is coming form someone who majored in the sciences in college.

7:31 pm: Matt Langwell and Rice get out of the inning, but UNC takes a 1-0 lead after 2.

7:34 pm: Rice gets on base to lead off the third inning. So much for Warren’s perfect game bid.

7:36 pm: Warren waks the second batter, putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs.

7:38 pm: Rice lays down the sacrifice bunt. Two runners in scoring position, one out.

7:40 pm: Warren gets his first strikeout of the game, fanning the Rice shortstop.

7:41 pm: On the very next pitch, Diego Seastrunk hits a line drive into right field sending both baserunners home. Rice now takes a 2-1 lead. The Rice hitters may have figured out how Warren can be beaten.

7:45 pm: Lord, just let us get out of this inning, so that our pitching doesn’t collapse.

7:46 pm: The top of the 3rd ends with Savery flying out to Reid Fronk, but Rice has taken a 2-1 lead in the middle of the 3rd.

7:49 pm: Fronk is walked to lead off in the bottom of the third.

7:50 pm: HOME RUN! Tim Fedroff shoots one into the left field seats, and UNC takes a 3-2 lead. UNC now has 3 times as many home runs (3) in the last two games as in all of their previous postseason games (1).

7:52 pm: Horton gets to second after another error by Brian Friday, his third in two days. Previously, the Owls haven’t committed an error in the entire CWS.

7:56 pm: Rice retires the next three batters to end the third inning and leave Horton stranded. UNC leads, 3-2 after 3 innings.

8:01 pm: Barry Larkin: “When recruiting, Rice has been able to reproduce”: hmmm…

8:07 pm: Warren has two outs in the top of the 4th, but Aaron Luna is at third base. Rob Wooten is warming up…

8:08 pm: …but Rice flies out to center field, and Warren gets out of the jam.

8:14 pm: ANOTHER HOME RUN! This time it’s Seth Williams, who shoots one over the left field fence. UNC has three hits in this game, all home runs. Where was this power in the rest of the postseason?

4-2, UNC.

8:20 pm: You know Brian Friday has had a bad few days when he gets run over by a baserunner, trying to field a bad throw.

8:22 pm: Rice finally retires the side to end the inning. UNC leads 4-2 after four.

8:26 pm: Wow, that was fast. Warren is on roll, retiring the 5th inning side in 6 pitches, including a strikeout. Our starting pitching has finally come together in the last few games.

8:28 pm: Langwell was pulled in the fourth inning, but that doesn’t matter. ANOTHER HOME RUN, this time by Josh Horton to lead off the bottom 5th inning. 5-2, in favor of the Tar Heels.

8:30 pm: TAR! HEELS! TAR HEELS! TAR HEELS! TAR! HEELS!…

8:33 pm: Bobby Bramhall walks Federowicz and Ackley after the Horton home run. runns on 1st and 2nd, no outs.

8:35 pm: Flack sac bunts to advance the runners. One out.

Bramhall has been pulled in favor of closer Cole St. Clair. This move may be perplexing, but Andrew Carignan pitched 5 strong innings in the deciding Super Regional game against South Carolina.

8:39 pm: Seager hits a line drive right down the middle of the infield for a base hit. Fed-Ex and Ackley will score. The score is now 7-2 in favor of UNC.

8:42 pm: St. Clair finally gets out of the inning, but Rice is in big trouble now, down 7-2 after 5 innings.

8:48 pm: Warren easily gets out of the inning, and UNC still leads 7-2 in the middle of the 6th.

8:52 pm: Fronk gets a double as the Heels continue to dominate against the Owls relief pitching.

8:55 pm: Soccer update: USA 2, Canada 1, Stoppage time, CONCACAF Gold Cup Semifinal.

8:59 pm: Canada scores, but Canada is called for offsides, a very, very controversial call. Nevertheless, USA officially wins, 2-1.

9:06 pm: Wooten is in the game for UNC, but Rice is taking advantage of his pitching. With no outs, they have gotten three hits and scored a run to make it 7-3, UNC. Rice may not be out of this yet.

9:09 pm: Garrett Gore has done an excellent job of fielding. He manged to get the forceout at second for the first out of the inning, and then caught a foul ball for the second in such a way that he was able to turn around quickly and deter the runner on third from running home.

9:10 pm: The next batter hits a line drive into right field. Fedroff can’t reach it, and the socre is now 7-4, UNC. ESPN makes the all to obvious joke: “the Rice isn;t cooked yet.” Ugh.

9:14 pm: Out with Rob Wooten, in with Andrew Carignan.

9:16 pm: My experience this summer at Boshamer has been fantastic, but it was missing one thing: a beach ball in the general admission section.

Carignan strikes out Joe Savery to end the inning. UNC is holding on to a 7-4 lead.

9:21 pm: Bottom of the 7th inning. Dustin Ackley hits a leadoff double off the left field wall.

9:30 pm: Wow, sometimes live blogging a baseball game is hard. Anyway, UNC is unable to to take advantage of the early double, as Rice retires the next three batters. The margin remains 7-4, UNC after 7 innings.

9:32 pm: Rice gets a leadoff single.

9:35 pm: After 1 out, Garrett Gore mishandles a groundball, which took a really bad hop. The World Wide Leader continues to talk about both the groundscrew and the umpire (specifically, the bad jobs they think they’ve done).

9:38 pm: After striking out the next batter, Carignan gets out of the inning with a flyout to Seth Williams. UNC remains in a 7-4 lead at the middle of the 8th.

9:40 pm: Off topic. I am very glad that the US are advancing to the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, Canada should have been awarded that goal at the end to force extra time. They were onside.

9:42 pm: Gore grounds out to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning. Fronk flies out and Fedroff grounds out for an easy 3-up, 3-down 8th inning for Rice. UNC leads 7-4, and they are now just three outs away from a rematch with Oregon State.

9:45 pm: Two outs away. Rice flies out to Willams at center field.

9:47 pm: One out away. Friday grounds out to Flack.

9:48 pm: Seastrunk hits a fly ball, but Seth Willams makes the catch, and we’re going to the Championship Series! WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

The Championship series will be a rematch between the Tar Heels and Oregon State. UNC will be hoping to get their revenge. I will liveblog every game of the series right here. It’s great that the Heels get to return to the Series, but having watched them in person, to do it this year has been substantially more awesome for me.

 

2007 College World Series Live Blog: UNC vs. Mississippi State

Tonight The North Carolina Tar Heels begin their run in the 2007 College World Series, against the resurgent powerhouse Mississippi State. I will provide a proper preview of the Tar Heels in the CWS tomorrow; if you absolutely must have a preview right now, to to College Baseball Blog.

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7:15 pm: Top of the first. Robert Woodard allowed a single against the leadoff hitter, but retired the side after that.

7:19 pm: Bottom of the first. UNC’s batting lineup: Fronk, Fedroff, Ackley, Federowicz, Horton, Flack, Williams, Johnson, Gore.

7:20 pm: Justin Pigott strikes out Reid Fronk to begin the inning.

7:21 pm: Tim Fedroff grounds out to second. Apparently, he’s a Yankees fan. Booo… it’s a good thing you’re playing for the Tar Heels.

7:22 pm: Dustin Ackley is safe at first off the error by the shortstop, but Tim Federowicz flies out to center to end the inning. The game is scoreless after one.

7:26 pm: The second inning has begun. The Bulldogs first baseman leads off with a single up the middle.

Woodard is a good pitcher, but I’m concerned for our starting pitchers this year. They have been shaky for the entire post season, and many times our ourr bullpen has had to bail out the team before the offense makes a comeback. We need the starters to perform well if we want to win the College World Series.

7:27 pm: Fedroff completely misses the catch, losing the baseball in the sun. Runners on second and third.

7:29 pm: Sneed hits another double that goes in the right-center gap, scoring the two guys on base easily. 2-0, Mississippi State early in the second.

7:32 pm: The Bulldogs continue to hit off of Woodard into deep right field. Fedroff catches it, but Sneed scores after tagging up at third. 3-0, Mississippi State, and only 1 out.

7:34 pm: After 2 outs, another line drive to right field, and another easy run by Mississippi State, and the Bulldogs, lead 4-0.

That will be it for Woodard, as Adam Warren will come out of the bullpen in his place. Woodard leaves after 7 hits and 4 earned runs on only 39 pitches.

7:40 pm: Warren gets out of the inning, but not before Mississippi State puts a huge dent in UNC’s plans. Boy, where have we seen this before?

7:44 pm: After Josh Horton leads off with a base hit, Flack grounds into a double play, and Williams grounds out to end the inning, essentially before it started. Pigott retires the side in 4 pitches. He is dominating, which is not a good sign for the Tar Heels.

7:51 pm: Warren gets the Heels out of the inning without hemorrhaging more runs. The Bulldogs still lead, 4-0 in the middle of the third.

Adam Warren has been our fourth option at starting pitcher. Even though he has a perfect 10-0 regular season record, he has not been used in the postseason until now.

7:58 pm: After Benji Johnson strikes out, Garrett Gore hits a double into right field, UNC’s first extra base hit of the game. The Heels now go back to the top of the order.

8:01 pm: Pigott walks Fronk to put runners on first and second with one out. Fedroff is up next.

8:03 pm: Fedroff flies out to right field, and Fronk is picked off at first by the catcher to end the inning. The Bulldogs lead 4-0 after 3. UNC cannot afford to make mistakes at this point in the game.

8:11 pm: Adam Warren retires the first two batters. Missisippi State hits a two out left field double, but Warren is able to strike out catcher Edward Easly and end the top of the fourth. The Bulldogs still have a 4-0 lead.

8:15 pm: Pigott walks Ackley to lead off the inning.

8:18 pm: Federowicz hits a a deep fly ball, but the center fielder, Jeffrey Rae, is there for the catch. One down.

8:20 pm: Horton hits a grounder between first and second base for another base hit. Horton is 2-2.

Wait a minute. Someon has the time to setup a website calling for the head of a college baseball manager? Now I’ve seen everything.

8:22 pm: Flack hits another single for the Tar Heels. Ackley comes in to score from second to finally put UNC on the board. 4-1, Mississippi State.

8:27 pm: After Seth Williams flies out, Benji Johnson hits a grounder that gets past the shortstop. Horton comes in to score from second. 4-2 Mississippi State. Could UNC make another big comeback?

8:29 pm: Garrett Gore ground out to end the inning, but the Heels cut the lead in half. It’s 4-2, inf favor of the Bulldogs after four innings.

8:34 pm: According to Barry Larkin, the sign that you’ve made it big as a town is when you have a Bass Pro Shops. Hmm… under that definition, Auburn, New York has made it big as a city.

Also, Dick’s Sporting Goods, a sponsor of the CWS, is not going to be happy about Larkins plugging their competitor.

8:36 pm: UNC turns the double play tpo end the inning. We’re at the game’s midway point, and UNC still trails 4-2.

8:41 pm: With one out, Fedroff gets an easy right field single…

8:43 pm: …but Ackley line drives right to the third baseman, who turns in an easy double play to end the fifth inning. The Bulldogs still lead 4-2 after five innings.

8:48 pm: Adam Warren’s line so far: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB.

8:54 pm: Warren gets out of the inning, still without allowing a run. 4-2, Bulldogs.

8:58 pm: After one out, Horton and Flack each get base hits. Seth Williams is up next.

9:00 pm: Seth hits a bullet at the third baseman, who mishandles the ball. Horton is able to score from second, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS! TAR! HEELS!

…You know what? That sounded definitively less formidable at a baseball game.

9:03 pm: Benji Johnson misses getting a home run by thismuch, but he hits it off the wall and Flack comes in to score. Seth Williams is stopped at third, and the game is now tied at 4. UNC has come all the way back, and Pigott is gong to get pulled from the pitching mound.

WHOOOOOOOO!!!

It’s worth noting that the Heels ravaged the South Carolina bullpen, but it may be a different story against the Bulldogs. Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out.

9:08 pm: The pitcher walks Gore to load the bases for Reid Fronk, possibly to force an inning-ending double play.

9:10 pm: Reid Fronk is hit by pitch, and Seth Williams scores from third. UNC leads, 5-4. A bizarre way to get out first lead of the game, but we’ll take it.

9:11 pm: Fedroff Flies out to deep left field, but Benji Johnson is able to tag up and score from third. It’s now 6-4 in favor of the Heels. What a turnaround.

9:12 pm: Dustin Ackley hits a line drive over the outstretched arms of the shortstop, bring Gore and Fronk in to score. With the 2 RBI single, Ackley ties the record for the most hits by a Tar Heel in a season, set by Chad Flack last season. UNC leads, 8-4.

9:14 pm: Federowicz, who led off the inning, gets a base hit that sends Ackley to third, and the Bulldogs must now dig deeper into their bullpen.

9:16 pm: Roy Williams is looking stylish is his “Carolina blue loose Under Armour semi-mock-turtleneck T-shirt”. There are so many oxymorons in that one piece of clothing, it’s scary, and yet he manages to look good in it.

9:18 pm: Horton flies out to right, and the inning mercifully comes to an end, but the Heels now have a 4 run lead heading into the 7th, with Adam Warren still pitching well.

9:21 pm: Correction: Warren has finished his day, and has been replaced in favor of Rob Wooten. He has pitched extremely well this postseason.

9:23 pm: Just when it looked like UNC’s lead was going to be safe, Wooten allows a deep home run from Edward Easley to cut the lead to 8-5, and the Bulldogs put another guy on base.

9:25 pm: UNC is able to get out of the inning and into the 7th inning stretch, still leading 8-5. The Heels’ now red-hot offense will get another chance to get more runs.

9:28 pm: Flack beats the throw from third to get the base hit and lead off the inning.

9:31 pm: Ricky Bowen has spent WAY too much time worrying about Flack at first base. He needs to worry about the batter.

9:33 pm: Williams walks, putting runners on first and second with nobody out.

9:35 pm: A wild pitch sends the runners to second and third, still with no one out. The Bulldogs are in serious trouble.

9:37 pm: Benji Johnson strikes out. For the Bulldogs, that’s about the best thing that could have happened in the at-bat.

9:38 pm: On the next pitch, Gore grounds to third, where Sneed manages to keep Flack at third and throw out Gore at first.

On the very next pitch, Reid Fronk grounds out to first, and Mississippi manages to escape the jam, still trailing the Heels 8-5. Crap. We could have finished them off, and we let them off the hook. Let’s see if coming up empty in the 7th comes back to haunt us.

9:42 pm: Sneed grounds out to Flack at third. We’re five outs away. Wooten is still on the mound, and Andrew Carignan is warming up.

9:43 pm: Jet Butler also grounds out, and UNC is now 4 outs away from their first win in the 2007 CWS.

9:44 pm: Wooten retires the side easily in the top of the 8th inning, and Carignan will close in the 9th. This game seems pretty much in hand at this point, but another run or two never hurts.

9:48 pm: Fedroff gets a base hit to lead off.

9:50 pm: Mississippi State skipper Ron Polk looks like a combination of Lou Pinniella and Bobby Bowden. Trust me, that is not a good thing.

9:54 pm: After striking out 2 batters, Horton flies out to end the 8th inning. UNC still leads 8-5, and now have a chance to close out the game in the 9th.

9:59 pm: Carignan easily disposes of the first two batters. Ed Easley, who hit the home run off of Wooten, is now the Bulldogs’ last hope.

10:01 pm: Easley strikes out! And Carolina manages the 8-5 win over Mississippi State. The Heels once again are bailed out by their bullpen after a bad performance by the starter, and the offense rallies late to get the win. North Carolina will now face Rice in Game 4 of Bracket A of the College World Series. The winner will have the upper hand in getting to the Championship Series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Regional Day 3 Recap: We’re Going To Omaha

Game 2, Part 2: USC 8, UNC 6- Well, that was a waste of 40 minutes. Carolina came in alternate black uniforms to end Game 2 (which was suspended last night due to weather), and they weren’t very lucky for the Heels. Carolina did manage to score a run n the top of the 8th, but the Gamecocks had a very questionable call go their way. With two outs, USC fielded a grounder and threw to first. But the first baseman had his foot off the bag when he caught it, which means that the runner should have been called safe. The Umpire called an out, sending the reduced UNC crowd up in arms and ending the inning. The Heels didn;t get another chance, and the series was force into a game three with a trip to Omaha on the line.NOW.

Game 3: UNC 9, UNC 4- WHOOOOOO!!!! We’re going back to the College World Series! I am at a loss for words right now. Chad Flack is simply unbelievable.

Super Regional Day 2 Recap: Now THAT’S What I Call A 7th Inning Stretch!

Game2 of the Super Regional has thus far followed a similar script to Game 1. The Carolina starting pitcher, Alex White got shell shocked early and often, and had to be taken out early in favor of middle relief. While the entire Gamecock offense was performing well, Justin Smoak was outstanding, with two RBI, including a solo home run, and three runs scored. Meanwhile, the Carolina offense got very little accomplished in the early part of the game against the starting pitcher. Erik Himpy eventually had to be pulled however, and once again took advantage of South Carolina’s bullpen. Tim Federowicz hit a two RBI single in the top of the 7th to cut the lead to 8-5.

South Carolina did manage to get Josh Horton out (who is still hitless in this game), before the middle of the 7th inning, before the game was delayed due to an impending thunderstorm. Eventually the game was suspended until 2:30 pm today. So after a 17 hour 7th inning stretch (that must be some sort of record), we will finally get to see how this plays out. Sitting on that grassy hill known as “general admission” after a heavy rain will only make it that much more interesting.

Boshamer Super Regional Game 1: What A Comeback…

So there I am, In the general admission section of Boshamer Stadium. 90 degrees, 90% humidity. The sun has already set, so I’m not roasting. Instead, I’m left on a grassy hill to bathe in barbeque sauce and my own musk. An inning and a half before, our opponent had hit a grand slam off of our star pitcher to take a 6-0 lead, commencing one of the few times that 1,000 people yelling “COCKS!” in public was socially acceptable. The feeling at that moment was engulfing. It was asphyxiating, It had permeated everyone wearing blue that evening. It was an inescapable feeling of shock.

And I simply could not have been happier.

Absolutely epic. It was the bottom of the 7th inning. The Tar Heels had cut the deficit to 6-3 in the 6th, and now Carolina fans were witnessing an unstoppable comeback. 6 runs in the 7th inning. Everyone who had been sitting on the hill before were now standing, up, straining their voice beyond recognition. If you entered the stadium with the voice of a tenor, you left with the voice of a 3-pack-a-day smoker.  Watching UNC make the comeback for the 9-6 win over South Carolina was a level of happiness I had not felt since Tyler Hansbrough single handedly ruined J.J. Redick’s senior night 15 months ago.

You can find the analysis at Tar Heel Blue, for I am at a loss for words on the actual baseball details. I will say this: Josh Horton is simply unstoppable right now.

 

NCAA Baseball Regional Day Four Recap

North Carolina 6, Western Carolina 5- Another dramatic 9th inning comeback by the Tar Heels. I rushed to this game from my class, and was welcomed in the same way the regional began: a scorching hot and humid day that sent many spectators for the shade of the pavilion in the back of the stadium. Heat aside, it was a near picture-perfect day for baseball.

The Tar Heels got off to an early start, scoring a run in each of the first two innings and ultimately taking a 3-0 lead in the middle of the 4th inning. But then the Catamount offense started clicking in the bottom of the fourth, as starting pitcher Luke Putkonen began to struggle. Two key mistakes, a HBP by Putkonen and a fielding error by 3rd baseman Chad Flack, led to an RBI single by Johnathan Greene and a 2 RBI double in left field by Nick Liles, respectively. Putkonen was able to eventually get out of the inning, but WCU took a 4-3 lead.

After Blake Murphy hit a solo home run and the Catamounts put another player on base, Putkonene was pulled from the game and replaced by  reliever Rob Wooten. He did an excellent job keeping the Tar Heels in the game, pitching 3.2 innings of relief without giving up a run.

The Tar Heels floundered offensively until the 7th inning, when UNC loaded the bases for Tim Federowicz, who hit a two-out RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-4. Unfortunately, Josh Horton Struck on the next at bat, stranding all three baserunners and relinquishing a golden opportunity late in the game.

The Tar Heels would get one last chance in the 9th inning. Mike Cavsinni (pinch running for Tim Fedroff) and Dustin Ackley were on second and third with two outs, and Western Carolina brought in pitcher Chris Masters to pitch to Horton. Josh hit a line drive into deep right center, bringing in the two runs to take a 6-5 lead and sending the Boshamer crowd wild. Andrew Carignan slammed the door in the bottom of the 9th, giving UNC the 6-5 win.

The Tar Heels wil host the Super Regional this weekend against South Carolina for the rights to go to Omaha for the College World Series. You can bet that I’ll be there.

NCAA Baseball Regional Day Three Recap: Cats Kick Some Pirate Booty

Whoa. I didn’t think that title through very well, did I?

Western Carolina 9, East Carolina 5- Tropical Storm Barry finally caught up to us on Sunday. The rain forced the NCAA to delay the elimination game until 7:00 pm and the regional final game until Monday at 1pm. (On the flipside, that means one more day of baseball! WHOOOOO!!!) The weather became cold during the game, which I was completely unprepared for, especially considering that just two days earlier it was so hot outside that you could the metal bench seating as a stove top.

East Carolina jumped to an early start with 2 runs at the top of the 1st inning. But the Catamounts responded in the bottom of the second, as Brent Greer’s 3 RBI triple helped WCU get a 4-3 lead. The Pirate remained, close, but could not get any offense after the fourth inning. Already up 7-5, Western Carolina scored two more runs in the bottom of the 8th to seal the game.

(An interesting side note: very few home runs have been hit in this regional, but all of them have been hit by either ECU or WCU. Perhaps purple + yellow = hitting power. If so, the Lakers are in the wrong sport.)

Tomorrow-With the result of this game, WCU will move on to face the Tar Heels on Monday, and ECU is surprisingly eliminated before getting the chance to face UNC again. The Pirates are a consistently good baseball team, and even though Chapel Hill has been a great host, I have to say that East Carolina has the best fans of any team in this regional. The Pirates were very well represented in the stands all weekend, and their fans were the most vocal by far, through thick and thin. The remainder of this regional won’t be the same without the Pirate faithful.

Baseball Regional Day 2 Recap: HEEEELLLLL YEEEEAAAHHHH!!!

That was AWESOME! I’ll tell you about the Tar Heels, but first a recap of Game 1.

Western Carolina 7, Jacksonville 0- I can’t say that I couldn’t foresee this happening. Jacksonville was clearly the weakest team in the field, but expected them to at least get some runs in this tournament. With the loss to the Catamounts they are eliminated, having produced 13 hits, 0 runs, and 4 errors. Western Carolina, was led by Steven Strasbaugh on offense (3-5, 1 R, 1 RBI) and by Drew Saberhagen, son of Bret Saberhagen (8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 5 K). With this win they will play on Sunday in a rematch with ECU for the right to play Carolina in Sunday’s night game. But on to the main event.

North Carolina 11, East Carolina 10- This may have been the most exciting baseball game I’ve ever attended in person. East Carolina is a very good team. Whenever it looked like the Tar Heels would have some control over the game, the Pirate offense blasted the door back open. After the Tar Heels struck first blood, ECU scored five runs in the top of the third inning, including a bases clearing double by Stephen Batts, to take a 5-1 lead. The Pirates offense did a very good job at the plate, but the umpire in this game sucked royally. His bad calls went for and against both teams in the game, and there was likely not a single person in the stadium who thought the ump (whose name is Scott Inman) did a good job in this game. Having said that, we got lucky in this game. We scored 4 and 3 runs in the 3rd and 6th innings, respectively, and the Pirates defense had 2 key fielding errors in each.

Still, the offense did enough to give ECU a seemingly safe 10-8 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning and the middle of the order (Horton, Flack, etc.) retired in the 8th. Shane Mathews came in to pitch for reliever Jason Nietz, and Mike Cavasinni came in to pinch hit. Mathews walked the first two batters. Garret Gore then hit a sacrifice bunt, sending Kyle Shelton and Cavasinni to 2nd and 3rd base with one out. With Reid Fronk at-bat, Mathews threw a wild, pitch, allowing Cavasinni to score from third and cut the deficit to one. The crowd in Boshamer stadium roared to a level usually reserved for football and basketball games. Finally, Fronk singled on a grounder up the middle, scoring Shelton, tying the game. Then came the two star UNC freshmen, Tim Fedroff and Dustin Ackley. Fedroff hit a single to bring Fronk to second base, then Ackley’s line drive down the middle scored the winning run, sending the crowd completely insane, cheering nonstop for three solid minutes after Fronk reached home plate.

It was a fantastic game, and I am now officially hooked on college baseball. I will have a more detailed (and definitely more entertaining) recap of this game later in the week.

Tomorrow- Western Carolina and East Carolina face each other again, as the Cats try to avenge blowing a 4 run lead against the Pirates on Friday. The Tar Heels await the winner, who will have to beat UNC twice if they wish to advance into the Super Regionals next week.

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