for this game

Freshmen step up for Tar Heels, set up title game rematch

Jun 22, 2007 - 8:26 AM OMAHA, Nebraska (Ticker) -- With the help of three players not on the roster last season, the North Carolina Tar Heels will get their chance to avenge last season's ending.

Three North Carolina freshmen combined for five RBI and two of the team's four homers as the Tar Heels posted a 7-4 victory over Rice, setting up a rematch of last season's CWS championship series.

The Tar Heels (57-14) advance to the CWS championship game, where they will meet Oregon State (47-18) on Saturday in the first game of a best-of-three series for the first rematch the CWS has seen since Arizona State and Southern California turned the trick in 1972 and 1973.

"I'm just glad we're playing," North Carolina coach Mike Fox said. "I'm sure everyone else is thrilled that the matchup is the same as last year. We just want to take a deep breath and realize we made it back.

"We exhausted, for one, and elated. That we're playing for the national championship again is surreal."

Freshman Dustin Ackley belted a 1-0 pitch from Rice starter Matt Langwell (8-2) well over the fence in center for a solo shot in the second to account for the first run of the contest.

"We haven't been doing many things differently," Ackley said. "Right now, everyone's clicking at the same time. There were a bunch of balls hit hard everywhere."

Fellow freshman Tim Fedroff helped North Carolina respond to the Owls' two-run third with two of its own in the bottom half of the frame. He followed a walk to Reid Fronk with a two-run blast that gave the Tar Heels their second one-run lead of the contest at 3-2.

Ackley and Fedroff went a combined 7-for-15 over the last two games after his freshmen stars went 4-for-24 in the previous three contests.

After Seth Williams and Josh Horton each connected on solo shots off reliever Bobby Bramhall to push the Tar Heels' lead to 5-2. The third and final freshman in the North Carolina lineup - designated hitter Kyle Seager - extended the advantage to 7-2 by greeting Rice closer Cole St. Clair with a two-run single for the Tar Heels' final run of the game.

"It is absolutely fantastic to see them come through with everything on the line especially after struggling as they had been," Fox said of his freshmen. "I just hope they have two more good games in them. I'm not sure where the home runs came from."

"When they got the pitch to hit, they hit the long ball, and it's fun to watch ... if you're on the other side," Rice coach Wayne Graham said.

The offensive support was more than enough for sophomore Adam Warren (12-0), who did not allow a hit after surrendering a single to designated hitter Aaron Luna to lead off the fourth. The righthander was pulled in favor of reliever Rob Wooten after walking the leadoff batter in the seventh. In all, he yielded three runs and three hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Tar Heels called on closer Andrew Carignan to face Joe Savery - the Philadelphia Phillies' first-round selection in the 2007 draft - and struck out the slugger after four consecutive foul balls to start the at-bat.

"I thought he (Carignan) was throwing into Joe's power," Graham said. "I was hoping that he would throw one thigh-high so Joe could get one over the fence. I was disappointed with that situation."

"It is disappointing, to go out like that, but I'm not going to sum up my college career by that one at-bat - that's a crime," Savery said. "We had one of the toughest roads to get here. I'm not going to look at my career and just think about how my last plate appearance was a strikeout with runners on second and third."

Carignan set down seven of the eight batters he faced, notching his third save of the CWS and his 18th of the season to tie Sam Houston State's Luke Prihoda for the best mark in Division I.

He became the ninth pitcher to earn three saves during a CWS, one shy of the record set in 2002 by Huston Street, whose career record of five was tied by Carignan on Thursday. Carignan has appeared in seven games over his two trips to Omaha, not allowing a run in 9 1/3 innings, yielding just three hits and one walk with 12 strikeouts.

"We've turned to him to finish things off the last two years and rarely, if ever, has he disappointed," Fox said.

The Beavers, who defeated the Tar Heels in three games in 2006, are looking to become the first team since Louisiana State in 1996-1997 to win consecutive championships.






  • 5
    roots
    George Linderborn Added 5 roots

    Rice 4, North Carolina 7  FinalMay 9 4:45 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 4 6 2
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 2 1 3 0 0 0 x 7 8 1 FINAL
    WP - ADAM WARREN (2-0)
    LP - MATT LANGWELL (0-1)
    SAVE - ANDREW CARIGNAN (3)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND
    TIM FEDROFF (5) OFF MA

    Jun 21 9:49 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 4 6 2
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 2 1 3 0 7 7 0 (IN TOP 7)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND
    TIM FEDROFF (5) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 3RD
    SETH WILLIAMS (1) OFF BOBBY BRAMHALL IN THE 4TH
    JOSH

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 9:17 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 2
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 2 1 3 7 6 0 (IN BOTTOM 5)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND
    TIM FEDROFF (5) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 3RD
    SETH WILLIAMS (1) OFF BOBBY BRAMHALL IN THE 4TH
    JO

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 8:43 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 0 2 3 2
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 2 1 4 4 0 (IN BOTTOM 4)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND
    TIM FEDROFF (5) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 3RD
    SETH WILLIAMS (1) OFF BOBBY BRAMHALL IN THE 4TH

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 8:23 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 2 2 2
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 2 3 2 0 (END BOTTOM 3)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND
    TIM FEDROFF (5) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 3RD

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 7:57 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 2 2 2 1
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 1 1 0 (END TOP 3)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 7:46 PM


  • COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
    CWS
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    RICE 0 0 0 0 1
    NORTH CAROLINA 0 1 1 1 0 (IN BOTTOM 2)
    HOME RUNS: NOR - DUSTIN ACKLEY (2) OFF MATT LANGWELL IN THE 2ND

    Rice vs. North CarolinaJun 21 7:32 PM

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