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Tar Heels meet Oregon State in baseball championship series

Posted Saturday, June 24, 2006

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UNC opens best-of-three series versus Beavers at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

OMAHA, Neb. - North Carolina will square off against Oregon State in the best-of-three championship series of the 2006 College World Series beginning Saturday at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium. The Tar Heels (53-13) have won eight straight NCAA tournament games, while the Beavers (48-15) fought their way to the title series after losing their first game in the CWS. Junior left-hander Andrew Miller will take the mound for UNC in the opening game.

 

ESPN networks will have national coverage of all three contests beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Friday on ESPN and continuing with game two at 7 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2. If needed, a decisive game three will be played at 7 p.m. Monday on ESPN. Mike Patrick, Harold Reynolds, Erin Andrews and Kyle Peterson will call the action.

As usual, Jones Angell and Adam Lucas will broadcast the all games for the Tar Heel Sports Network on AM-1360 WCHL in Chapel Hill and on TarHeelBlue.com.

CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES NOTES

• North Carolina will be playing for its first-ever national championship in baseball and the 34th team national title in school history in this weekend's best-of-three championship series against Oregon State. The Tar Heels have won five titles in men's basketball (1924, 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005), 18 in women's soccer (1981-84, 1986-94, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2003), four in field hockey (1985, 1995-97), four in men's lacrosse (1981-82, 1986, 1991) and one in men's soccer (2001) and women's basketball (1994).

• With a program-best three wins in the 2006 CWS, Carolina is now 5-8 all-time in Omaha. Head coach Mike Fox has been a part of all five Tar Heel CWS victories as a player or coach. UNC is now 55-44 in 21 all-time NCAA tournament appearances, and Fox is now 20-12 as a head coach in the postseason at Carolina.

• UNC head coach Mike Fox is in search of his second national title. He won the 1989 NCAA Division III national championship at North Carolina Wesleyan. Fox guided the Battling Bishops to eight Division III World Series appearances.

• Carolina and Oregon State have never met in baseball.

• At 8-0, the Tar Heels are the only unbeaten team in the NCAA tournament. UNC's current winning streak matches its second-longest of the season, trailing only a run of nine straight from April 21-May 9. Carolina's last five wins have come against top-five national seeds in the tournament field.

• In eight games, the Tar Heels have tallied 16 home runs, 20 doubles and two triples for 38 extra-base hits and a .581 slugging percentage in NCAA tournament play. UNC pitching has allowed just 18 extra-base hits over this span.

• Six starters are batting .390 or better in the eight NCAA tournament games for the Tar Heels. Carolina sports a .356 team average in the tournament, which is 34 points higher than its season average. Five players have four or more hits in the CWS.

• UNC has won a school-record 53 games against just 13 losses this season. The previous mark was 51 wins in 1990.

• Carolina pitching has allowed just 10 runs in 31 innings for a 2.90 ERA at the CWS. The Tar Heels had a stretch of 20.1 consecutive scoreless innings snapped in Wednesday's win over Cal State Fullerton. The UNC bullpen has been especially effective and has not allowed a run in 8.2 innings of work in Omaha.

• With three home runs Wednesday, the Tar Heels have hit 82 on the year for the fifth-best single-season total in program history. Carolina hit five home runs off of Cal State Fullerton ace Wes Roemer, who had allowed just four homers all season heading into the CWS.

• Carolina used the same batting order for the third straight game against Cal State Fullerton June 21 for just the second time this season and first since April 9-14. The Tar Heels have not used the same batting order in four consecutive games this season. For the second straight contest, all 10 players in the starting lineup for UNC were from the state of North Carolina.

STARTING PITCHING UPDATE

Andrew Miller, Jr., LHP
2-0 with first career save in four NCAA appearances in 2006 • 3.57 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 22.2 postseason innings • Posted wins over Winthrop and Alabama and notched a save against Cal State Fullerton June 21 to help send the Tar Heels to the championship series • 13-2 with a 2.36 ERA and a UNC single-season record 128 strikeouts on the year • Can tie the UNC single-season record for victories with a win Saturday.

Robert Woodard, Jr., RHP
1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in a pair of starts in the 2006 NCAA tourney • Struck out 11 in 13.1 innings • Tossed a complete-game shutout against Clemson June 18 in the CWS • Held the Tigers to just three hits and matched a career-best with seven strikeouts • Has won 18 of his last 19 decisions and is now 23-3 in his career at Carolina • Stands 7-1 with a 3.18 ERA on the year • Can win eight games for the third straight season with a victory Sunday.

Daniel Bard, Jr., RHP
2-0 with a 5.52 ERA in three NCAA tournament starts in 2006 • Struck out 10 and walked just five in 14.2 postseason innings • Picked up his career-best ninth win of the season against Cal State Fullerton June 21 • Struck out a pair of Titans to move into a tie for 10th on the Tar Heels' career strikeout list • Also earned career victory No. 24 to move into a tie for fifth at UNC • 9-3 with a 3.84 ERA on the season.

BULLPEN UPDATE

Andrew Carignan, So., RHP
Earned first save in over a month against CSF June 16 • Second in UNC history with 14 saves • Allowed just two hits and struck out three in 2.1 innings at CWS.

Matt Danford, Jr., RHP
Picked up the win with two shutout innings against CSF June 16 • Earned two wins in the NCAA tourney • Struck out 49 and walked just 21 in 50.2 innings.

Jonathan Hovis, Sr., RHP
Leads the nation with a 1.20 ERA in 67.1 innings • Zero earned runs in his last eight appearances • Leads the UNC pen with eight innings in NCAA play.

UPDATING THE TAR HEEL LINEUP

Mike Cavasinni, CF
Batting .410 (16-39) with seven runs scored and four RBI in the NCAA tournament. • Checks in at .286 (4-14) with three runs scored (including the game-winners in the first two wins) in the CWS. • Had two hits in extra innings in the June 16 win over Cal State Fullerton. • Went 2-for-4 in the June 18 victory over Clemson. • Has multi-hit games in eight of the last 11 contests.

Reid Fronk, 3B
4-for-12 with four runs scored and two RBI in the CWS. • Has driven in a run in three of the last four NCAA tournament games, including the game-winner in the June 18 victory over Clemson. • Went 2-for-6 with two runs scored and a first-inning homer off CSF's Wes Roemer in the June 16 win. • Was 1-for-2 with a run scored in the June 21 win over Fullerton. • Batting .320 (8-25) with 12 runs scored and five RBI in NCAA tourney play.

Josh Horton, SS
Batting a team-best .500 (7-14) with four RBI in the CWS. • Holds the UNC single-season hit record with 106 this season. • Was 2-for-5 with an RBI in the June 21 win over Fullerton. • Went 2-for-3 and drove in the second run in the 2-0 win over Clemson June 18. • Went 3-for-6 with two RBI and the game-winning single in the 13-inning win over CSF June 16. • Shares the team lead with a .417 postseason average (15-36) with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI.

Chad Flack, 1B
Batting .390 (16-41) with 11 runs scored, two home runs and 12 RBI in the NCAA tournament. • Ranks second on the Tar Heels' single-season hit list at 105 (trails Josh Horton by just one). • Went 0-for-4 in the June 18 Clemson win to snap a career-best 14-game hitting streak. • Went 3-for-6 in the June 16 win over Fullerton, matching Mike Fox's UNC record for hits in a CWS game. • 4-for-15 with a double and two runs scored in the CWS. • Looking for his first RBI since the Super Regional-winning home run at Alabama. • Has five extra-base hits in the postseason - two doubles, one triple and two homers.

Jay Cox, LF
After opening the trip to Omaha in a 1-for-10 slump, went 2-for-4 with two home runs and a UNC CWS-record four RBI in the June 21 win over CSF. • Now has a pair of multi-homer games in the NCAA tourney and six total in the Tar Heels' eight postseason games. • Has tallied 20 of his career-best 64 RBI in Carolina's NCAA run. • Hitting .417 (15-36) in the NCAA tourney to share the team postseason batting lead with Josh Horton. • Hit safely in seven of eight NCAA games.

Tim Federowicz, C/DH
3-for-14 with a homer and two RBI in the CWS. • Went 2-for-5 with a solo home run in the fifth inning in the June 21 victory over Fullerton. • Drove in a key insurance run with a 13th-inning single in the June 16 win over CSF. • Hitting .400 (14-35) with three home runs and nine RBI in the NCAA tournament. • Recently selected to the USA National Team trials.

Seth Williams, RF
Ranks second on the team with a .385 average (5-13) in the CWS. • Went 3-for-4 with a double in the June 21 win over Fullerton to become the fifth Tar Heel with three hits in a CWS game. • Batting .406 (13-32) with five runs scored and four doubles in the NCAA tournament. • Hit safely in 14 of last 17 games, including seven straight in the NCAA tournament.

Benji Johnson, C/DH
3-for-14 in the CWS but has hit safely in all three games. • Hit a key two-run home run in the June 16 win over Cal State Fullerton. • Hit safely in six of eight NCAA tournament games. • Batting .250 (8-32) with two homers and eight RBI in the NCAA tourney.

Garrett Gore, 2B
• Batting 1-for-12 with a run scored in the CWS. • Has four hits and four runs scored in the postseason. • Made six starts at second in the NCAA tourney and has also played third. • Started three straight games for the first time this season.

 
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Tar Heels meet Oregon State in baseball championship series
Pittsboro's Benji Johnson is batting .250 (8-32) with two homers and eight RBI in the NCAA tourney.
Photo by Gene Galin
 
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