Friday, June 19, 2009

SUN DEVILS SEND TAR HEELS PACKING

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels were cruising along with a 4-0 lead in last night’s elimination game against Arizona State in their quest to become the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Baseball National Champion in the same year that the round ball Heels were the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Champions.

Then ASU’s Kole Calhoun smashed a grand slam to tie the game sending the Tar Heels reeling. They stumbled through the sixth, but the seventh inning seemed to last an hour as the Devils scored eight runs to take a commanding 12-4 lead. The Heels would add one more for a final score of 12-5 and a ride back home to Chapel Hill.

In the Sun Devils’ three CWS games, Calhoun has hit three homers and driven in 10 runs.
The Sun Devils (51-13) are hoping Calhoun hasn’t used up all his big hits, because now they must beat No. 1 national seed Texas twice to reach next week’s best-of-three finals. The teams meet Friday night and, if ASU wins, would play again Saturday.

North Carolina’s usually dependable pitching staff melted down in the muggy 92-degree heat. Colin Bates (4-4) took the loss in relief of Matt Harvey, who threw a CWS-record four wild pitches.

Harvey’s control problems caught up to the Tar Heels in the fifth. He was pulled in favor of Brian Moran after hitting Jason Kipnis and walking Carlos Ramirez to load the bases.

Calhoun, the first batter to face Moran, slugged a 3-2 pitch into the seats 390 feet away in right-center field to tie it at 4.

Harvey and the six pitchers who followed him Thursday combined to walk 10, hit four batters and throw five wild pitches.

Game over.

North Carolina finishes up the year having made their fourth straight CWS appearance with a final record of 48-18.

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