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2009 UNC baseball
The Final Team Statistics
The Schedule/Results
The Roster

2008 UNC baseball
The Season Review
The Schedule/Results
The Roster

Off the cuff: World Series Game vs. Southern Miss: Dustin Ackley, currently batting .421, broke the College World Series record for career base hits with
27 to pass Stanford's Sam Fuld, who had 24 hits from 2001-03. I thought Ackley's most important hit was an RBI single in the first inning to get the Heels on the board and ahead early. UNC missed opportunities like that one in the first game of the World Series.

World Series Game 1: A lot is expected of Dustin Ackley and indeed the Tar Heels needed him to come through in the bottom of the ninth with two out and a runner on. He fanned looking on a borderline inside strike.

Game 2: While the pitching undoubtedly made the biggest difference, the Carolina bats have awakened over the last couple of weeks. UNC batters had 30 hits over the two games against ECU.

The Tar Heels had been relying on all-world player Dustin Ackley to provide the offense, along with some help from Kyle Seager. But the entire team has been hitting well and coming through in the clutch.

I've covered Mike Fox since the days when he coached at N.C. Wesleyan and I don't think I've ever seen him any more excited after a game. He demonstratively hugged each of his players during the post-game celebration.

The Tar Heels will be starting at the Double Tree hotel in downtown Omaha, less than three miles from Rosenblatt Stadium. I believe this is the closest they've ever stayed to the field. Maybe the fourth time is the charm. Carolina has now actually been to eight World Series but four in a row.

Game 1: While most East Carolina fans applauded the effort of Alex White as he left the mound for what will be his last appearance at home, a couple gave him the finger. One of the UNC baseball radio announcers slyly said that perhaps they were honoring the fact that he gave up only one run.

Conventional wisdom was that ECU has the better hitting team but Carolina has been peaking at the plate lately, having scored in double figures the last three games. The Pirates have a lot of power at the plate but they also tend to strikeout a lot. On the other hand, each of Carolina's big three pitchers - White, Warren and Harvey - average more than a strikeout an inning.

This section chronicles the 2008 and 2009 UNC baseball seasons. Any future comments on baseball will appear on the front page of HeelPrints and will archived here.

A painful ending

Carolina blows 4-0 lead, lose 12-5 to end 2009 season
In excruciating fashion, North Carolina blew a 4-0 lead midway through its game with Arizona State when the heralded pitching staff had trouble throwing strikes. It was the fourth straight visit to the College World Series, all ending without the title. (6/18/09)

Tar Heel pitchers walked 10 batters and threw five wild pitches. Ahead 4-0 in the fifth, Kole Calhoun got hold of a rare strike and hit it for a grand slam off reliever Brian Moran to tie the game. Two innings later, Calhoun doubled in a pair to give Arizona State the lead for good at 6-4.

The bottom of the seventh lasted nearly an hour as ASU more than batted around. The Wildcats plated eight runs during the inning but needed only nine hits to get its 12 total.

Starting UNC pitcher Matt Harvey gave up only two hit and struck out three but he also walked five batters, threw four wild pitches and hit two batters. He left with the bases loaded in the fifth, setting up the Calhoun home run off Moran.

UNC got up 2-0 on a pair of two-strike squeeze play bunts by Jacob Stallings - one in the second inning and one in the fourth. Marc Cavasini added an RBI single in the fourth to give UNC a 3-0 advantage. Ryan Graepel then plopped a two-out single to left to put the Heels up 4-0.

Dustin Ackley, considered the greatest hitter to have ever played at Carolina, was hitless until the ninth inning when he singled to extend his record of 22 NCAA tournament games with a hit. Ackley, drafted second last week by the Seattle Mariners, was playing in his last game as a Tar Heel.

Carolina finishes its season at 48-18.

World Series bound
Carolina baseball headed back to Omaha again
For the fourth year in a row, the North Carolina Tar Heels are headed to the College World Series in Omaha following a 9-3 victory over East Carolina in the NCAA Super Regionals in Chapel Hill Sunday.

For the second day in a row, there was a stellar pitching performance by a Tar Heel. This time, Adam Warren struck out eight and walked only one on his way to the win. And once again, the Tar Heels broke open a close game in the 6th inning.

Up 2-0 after a two-run single by Kyle Seager, the Tar Heels' bats came alive in the 6th as Carolina posted five runs. Three of those runs came on an opposite field home run by Dustin Ackley.

Carolina pushed across another run to go up 8-0 before ECU put three on the board in the eighth. Garrett Gore, in his last at bat at Boshamer Stadium, homered to deep center to provide the final 9-3 margin. Gore had four hits on the day.

The Tar Heels rapped out 13 hits and eight of the nine starters got at least one of them. UNC moves to 47-16 while ECU ends its season at 46-20. Carolina will now face the winner of the Arizona State-Clemson series in the first game of the World Series. The day and time has not been determined.

Tar Heels defeat Southern Miss, get another crack at Arizona State
Heels lose in first game of WS despite 12 Ks from White

White Ks 12; Heels use big 6th inning to defeat ECU
Heels sweep perennial power Miami to improve to 31-10
Longest win streak during the season came at nine after beating Duke
No. 1 ranked Tar Heels baseball team tops VMI in stadium opener

Previous baseball articles:
Carolina ends 2008 season where it wanted - in Omaha
Tar Heels run out of gas against Fresno State
Flack does it in the clutch again as Tar Heels fight on
Federowicz heroics keep UNC alive in College World Series
Carolina in the College World Series again
UNC is one win away from third straight trip to the World Series
Carolina baseball advances to host Super Regional starting Saturday

Heels defeats UNC-Wilmington 7-3 with five-run inning

UNC's wins over Miami vault Heels to No. 1 in the nation
Carolina baseball reaches 40-game win mark
Tar Heels take two of three from Florida State

Carolina baseball goes for best start in school history

Also, check out my articles for the UNC alumni Web site on Carolina's 8-4 win over LSU, the 5-3 loss to Fresno State, the 7-3 win over LSU, the 4-3 victory over Fresno State and the season-ending loss to Fresno State.

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