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.
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.
7:44 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.
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.