College World Series Capsules
College World Series Schedule
By Sean Ryan
OMAHA, Neb. –
They sound like partners in a law firm.
Danford, Hovis and
Carignan, LLP. Consider the LLP stands for “little leads protected.” Opponents
have been seeing the same verdict: case closed.
Everyone is very aware of North Carolina’s big three of Andrew Miller, Daniel
Bard and Robert Woodard, who is expected to get the ball in Sunday’s second game
of the best-of-three College World Series championship series. But don’t sleep
on Matt Danford, Jonathan Hovis and Andrew Carignan.
All three played a role in Saturday night’s 4-3 win, combining for four
scoreless innings in the Tar Heels’ win. Danford tossed 1.2 innings, while Hovis
added 1.2 innings and improved to 8-2 and Carignan struck out the last two
batters for his 15th save.
“Our relief pitching has been just outstanding,” Carolina coach Mike Fox said.
Including Saturday, the trio is 17-6 on the season with 17 saves. Hovis entered
Saturday with a 1.20 ERA, Carignan checked in at 3.27 and Danford stood at 4.62.
The combo has fared quite well in the shadows of their better-known pitching
“Everyone knows how good our three starters are,” Carignan said. “We know that
at the end of the game, we got to be there to shut the door. So their success is
able to be what it can be. Because they wouldn’t have all those wins if someone
at the end of the game couldn’t shut it down for them. The three of us take
pride in that.”
Chad Flack, Saturday’s hero, can be called as a witness.
“They’re unbelievable,” he testified. “They’ve been there all year long… I think
that’s a huge part. We have starting pitching. But if you get to the seventh or
eighth inning and you don’t have anyone to close out the game, you can run into
some trouble. I think we have the best pitching staff in the country top to
Asked which of UNC’s six pack gives him the most trouble, he got a little
“I don’t want to face any of them,” Flack said.
“One of the thing that frustrates me the most is trying to hit off Andrew
Carignan. He can pretty much blow it past me any time he wants to.”
Carignan limits hitters to a .154 average and has 44 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.
His ball seems to explode as it approaches the plate.
“At the end, his ball really does seem to take off,” Flack said. “It just seems
that once it gets halfway there, it just is kind of already in the mitt.”
Hitters are confused. So is the Tar Heels’ closer.
“It confuses me probably more than it confuses anyone else,” Carignan said.
“Bard and Miller, they throw harder than I do. But, I can go in there after one
of them pitches, and I can just seem to blow people away.”
The Tar Heels are one win away from a national title. Their three aces surely
have played a huge role. Their three closers, however, have put forth one heck
of a closing argument.