Wednesday, June 13, 2007

CWS Preview: North Carolina

The North Carolina Tar Heels (53-13) are making their second consecutive trip to the College World Series after losing last season in the Championship Series to Oregon State. North Carolina started their run to Omaha by hosting a NCAA Regional at Boshamer Stadium. They swept through the Regional by defeating Jacksonville 6-0, East Carolina 11-10, and Western Carolina 6-5. The Tar Heels were then announced the host of their Super Regional match-up with South Carolina. North Carolina won the first game 9-6 after trailing the game 6-0 at one time. The Gamecocks came back to win Game 2 8-6 before the Tar Heels took the decisive game 9-4 as the Tar Heels got to the weak South Carolina bullpen. The Tar Heels rotation is led by senior Robert Woodard. He has a 10-2 record with a 3.01 ERA. He pitched in last years College World Series so he has experienced the atmosphere that the team will face in Omaha. The last two starters in the rotation are Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.74 ERA) and Alex White (6-5, 4.22 ERA) who have struggled in the NCAA Tournament. The UNC bullpen is led by closer Andrew Carignan and reliever Rob Wooten. Carignan leads the team with a 2-1 record with 15 saves on the season with a minuscule ERA of 1.36. Rob Wooten has been used in 41 games this season out of the bullpen as he is the number 1 player to get called on by Head Coach Mike Fox. Wooten sports a 6-1 record with a 2.15 ERA. The offensive leader has been freshman Dustin Ackley who has a .416 BA. Reid Fronk leads the team with 11 homers on the year. The Tar Heels with the experience of some of their everyday players should not be in awe of the environment in Omaha and should be able to compete against any team in the country.


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