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.

baseball_unc.jpg its-a-beaver.jpg

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.