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.