Wednesday, June 17, 2009


(AP) When it comes to naming the greatest hitters in College World Series history, the conversation now must include Dustin Ackley (pictured). His numbers certainly back up the argument.

Ackley went 5 for 6 on Tuesday and became the CWS' career hits leader in North Carolina's 11-4 victory over Southern Mississippi.

The Tar Heels (48-17), who will play Thursday against the winner of Tuesday night's Texas-Arizona State game, eliminated the Golden Eagles (40-26) and sent Southern Mississippi coach Corky Palmer into retirement.

Ackley has 27 hits in 14 CWS games. The No. 2 overall draft pick by the Seattle Mariners, in his bid to become the second player to have six hits in a CWS game, flew out to left in the ninth inning.

Ackley doubled and hit four singles to all parts of the field. It was the kind of performance put up in the 1990s by Cal State Fullerton's Mark Kotsay, who batted a combined .517 in two CWS appearances and is widely considered the best pure hitter to play in the tournament.

The left handed-batting first baseman, who has hits in 21 consecutive NCAA tournament games since 2007, singled to left in the third inning to break the record of 24 career hits by Stanford's Sam Fuld (2001-03).

The rest of the Tar Heels were pretty good, too. Ryan Graepel added four hits, Ben Bunting had three, and Kyle Seager homered as Carolina banged out a CWS record-tying 23 hits.

The last team to have 23 hits at the CWS was Southern California, which did it against Arizona State in the 1998 championship contest.

North Carolina's Adam Warren (10-2) allowed three hits and struck out six in six innings.

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