June 15, 2007

College World Series Capsules

College World Series Schedule and Recaps


Late Shift: Tar Heels rally to beat Bulldogs

UNC continues to thrive in final few innings


North Carolina fell behind yet again, but the Tar Heels did what they have been doing a lot of the past few weekends - rally late to take a lead and leave it to their bullpen to close the door. Friday night in the second game of the College World Series, Benji Johnson had a RBI double off the wall, and Dustin Ackley added a two-run single to left-center as North Carolina scored six times in the sixth inning to come from behind to beat Mississippi State 8-5 at Rosenblatt Stadium.


Beginning with their 14-5 win over North Carolina State 10 games ago, the Tar Heels (54-13) have outscored their opponents 51-14 in the sixth through ninth innings, including ninth-inning rallies that produced one-run wins over East Carolina and Western Carolina in the Regionals.


Against the Bulldogs (38-21), UNC fell behind 4-0 as ace Robert Woodard was tagged for four runs and seven hits in 1.2 innings. Still trailing 4-2 and being stymied by lefty Justin Pigott, the Tar Heels came to life in the sixth. A run scored on Seth Williams grounder that got through Russ Sneed at third for an error, and Johnson blasted a shot off the top of the wall in left-center to plate another run and tie the game. After Garrett Gore walked on four pitches from reliever John Lalor, Reid Fronk was hit by a pitch to give North Carolina its first lead at 5-4. A sacrifice fly by Tim Fedroff preceded Ackley's two-out, two-strike, two-run single to left center that made the score 8-4.


From there, Rob Wooten and Andrew Carignan pitched the final three innings to save it for Adam Warren, who was solid in 4.1 shutout innings in relief of Woodard and picked up the win. The Tar Heels next meet Rice, which beat Louisville 15-10 earlier Friday.


Sneed went 2 for 4 with two RBI, and Mitch Moreland went 2 for 4 with a monster home run to center that sailed over the batter's eye for the Bulldogs, who will try to avoid elimination against Louisville Sunday.