Monday, June 15, 2009

UNC LOSES IN TENTH INNING TO ARIZONA STATE

Like their conference mates from C’ville, now the Tar Heels also have to do it the hard way – from the dreaded losers' bracket.

North Carolina starter Alex White and Arizona State hurler Josh Spence hooked up in a classic pitcher's duel Sunday afternoon, with neither figuring in the decision of what would be a 5-2, 10-inning win for the Sun Devils. ASU improved to 50-12 with the victory, while Carolina dropped to 47-17 with the loss, its first of the postseason.

Spence allowed just one run in seven innings of work, throwing 122 pitches (77 for strikes) and allowing eight hits and three walks. He also hit a batter, struck out eight and picked off a runner at first. The junior southpaw kept the Tar Heels off the board until the sixth, when Levi Michael drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mark Fleury, and raced home with the game-tying run on a single by Garrett Gore.

White, who threw 87 of his 131 pitches for strikes, escaped trouble in the first and fifth frames.

ASU broke through against the Tar Heel bullpen in the top of the 10th. The Sun Devils scored the game winning run after the Heels dropped a fly ball and then Kole Calhoun capped the rally with a three-run opposite field homer to make it 5-1.

Lefty reliever Mitchell Lambson picked up the win for ASU, going three innings and striking out five while working around shaky defense in the bottom of the 10th inning.

North Carolina committed three errors and left 11 men stranded.

UNC will face the loser of the Southern Miss-Texas game Tuesday at 2 p.m.

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