College World Series Capsules
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Flack feels need for speed
By Sean Ryan
OMAHA, Neb. –
Despite the way it looks, North Carolina sophomore Chad Flack is not slow.
He leads the Tar
Heels with four triples and has stolen 15 of 17 bases, one short of Mike
Cavasinni’s team-leading 16.
Yet, that was a
large topic of conversation Saturday night after North Carolina took a 1-0
series lead on Oregon State in the College World Series’ best-of-three
“Very fast,” Flack
joked when asked about how quick he sees himself before settling for “Fast for
At 6-3, 215, it
sometimes looks like you’re a bit slower than you really are. Or when you lumber
around second for a triple in the eighth inning. Or when you get a late break
from third before barely sliding in for the game-winning run on a passed ball a
few pitches later.
“It was a 6.8,
6.9,” Flack confided of his 60-time after the press conferfence. “It’s decent
for my size, I guess. I ran that up in the Cape. I think it might have been
around a 6.9…Once I get moving, I can go a little bit [laughs].”
starters are Robert Woodard for North Carolina and Mike Stutes for Oregon State.
UNC coach Mike Fox did not rule out the chance of ace Andrew Miller coming back
in relief if the series goes to a third game Monday. It took a while to get to
the answer, as Fox talked about making sure to take care of Miller because he
was a special pitcher as well as the rest of the players.
said: “More than likely yes.”
As for Miller…
definitely out,” Miller said. “If the situation comes Monday, I’ll certainly be
Before the Tar Heels came to bat in the eighth inning, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet
Caroline” was played between innings. Carolina broke a 3-3 tie when Chad Flack
tripled and scored on a passed ball.
Amazing stat of the
game: North Carolina’s first fly-ball out came with two outs in the bottom of
After a rain delay
of a little more than an hour, Matt Danford came on to relieve Andrew Miller,
who had thrown 77 pitches – his second-to-last being a 1-2 slider he’d like to
have back. Cole Gillespie deposited the thigh-high, outer-half offering into the
seats for a two-run homer to right-center to give the Beavers a 3-2 lead.
Miller, the sixth
pick of the June Major League Baseball draft, was hittable at times, as OSU
tallied multiple hits in the second, third and sixth innings. He also was
dominant at times, striking out five of six batters from the third to the fifth
inning. Miller threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of 20 batters.
Dallas Buck, however, remained in the game after throwing 65 pitches through the
first five innings. His first two pitches of the sixth inning were roped by Chad
Flack and Jay Cox for singles to center and right, respectively. He got a 6-4-3
double play before Seth Williams laced a single to center to tie the game at 3.
Buck left with one out in the seventh, allowing nine hits and three runs –
including hits to four of the seven batters he faced after the rain delay.
– or lack thereof – left something to be desired. In the sixth, catcher Tim
Federowicz was asked to bunt after swinging through the first pitch with men on
first and second. He squared but took a 2-1 fastball for a strike. The next
pitch, he grounded into a double play. Seth Williams picked him up with a
two-strike single to drive in Flack. In the seventh inning, Garrett Gore led off
with a double. Leadoff man Mike Cavasinni was asked to bunt him over. He squared
late, punched at the ball and failed to get the ball down twice before swinging
through a third strike from Buck. Gore was nabbed at third on a ground ball to
Darwin Barney at short – a ground ball that could have meant a run with a
successful sacrifice – and reliever Joe Paterson got out of the inning without
When Reid Fronk
singled to left with one out in the fifth inning, it marked the first ball to
the outfield off Dallas Buck since Tim Federowicz’s jam-sandwich single to
center in the first. Starting with Seth Williams’ grounder to short to end the
first, the Buck induced eight ground-ball outs, struck out two and allowed an
infield hit – Chad Flack’s chopper off the plate to third. After Fronk’s single,
Buck got Josh Horton to ground out to second, retiring 13 of 15 Tar Heels.
OSU’s Chris Kunda
led off the third with a shot that left the park but was ruled a double because
of fan interference. Kunda came around to score later in the inning after a bunt
and sacrifice fly.
was packed for Saturday’s first game. Packed to the tune of 26,808 – a new CWS
New to the stadium
this year is a giant scoreboard down the left-field line. First class. It’s as
wide as a whole section of bleacher seats (56 feet, 6 inches – only 4 feet shy
of the distance from pitcher to catcher) and not too big to be gaudy. Love the
arching “Rosenblatt” on top of the 27-foot-high board.
After some rain
overnight and some sprinkles early Saturday, it was warm at 84 degrees under
partly cloudy skies for first pitch Saturday. Clouds started rolling in from the
West in the third inning. By the fifth, lightning and hail were reported 15-20
minutes West of Omaha. With no outs in the sixth – right after Cole Gillespie’s
two-run homer gave the Beavers a 3-2 lead – umpires called for a lightning delay
at 7:44 local time. Shortly after 8 p.m., a double rainbow – a new CWS
championship series record! – formed in right-center field and arched over the
gorgeous dome beyond the right-field bleachers.
UNC entered the
championship series with a CWS record of 5-8 all-time. OSU was 0-4 all-time
before going 4-1 to improve to 4-5.
This is the fourth
year of the best-of-three championship series. The team that has won the first
game of the series has won the previous three titles (Rice, Cal State Fullerton
The Beavers and Tar
Heels had never met on the baseball diamond until Saturday night. Their only
common opponent was Miami, with UNC taking two of three at the Hurricanes, and
the Beavers splitting with the Canes here in Omaha.
Carolina coach Mike
Fox is one of 10 coaches who have reached Omaha as a coach and a player. Fox was
a member of the 1978 team, which went 2-2 at the CWS.
North Carolina is
trying to become the first ACC team since Wake Forest in 1955 to win the college
baseball national title. Miami’s national titles came before the Hurricanes
joined the ACC.