Gamecocks Fall 9-4 to Tar Heels in NCAA Super Regional|
June 10, 2007
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Chad Flack's two-run home run broke a 4-4 tie as third-seeded North Carolina scored eight unanswered runs on its way to a 9-4 win over South Carolina in game three of an NCAA Super Regional in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Tar Heels advance to the College World Series with a 53-13 record while the loss ends South Carolina's season at 46-20.
North Carolina reliever Andrew Carignan (2-1) pitched four scoreless innings of one-hit relief to pick up the win. Gamecock reliever Will Atwood (2-2) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in an inning of work.
Tied 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning, North Carolina went ahead 6-4 on the two-run homer courtesy of Flack. Flack followed up a leadoff single from Tim Federowicz by launching a 1-0 pitch with one out off Atwood over the left centerfield wall to give North Carolina the two-run lead. Flack's home run was the first home run of the postseason for the Tar Heels.
South Carolina came a few feet away from taking the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Gamecocks loaded the bases with Harley Lail collecting his third hit with a single followed by two-out walks to pinch hitter Robbie Grinestaff and Travis Jones. On a 1-2 pitch from Carignan, Gamecock third baseman James Darnell launched a deep drive to right field that was caught on the edge of the warning track by UNC right fielder Tim Fedroff. North Carolina would then go ahead 7-4 with an unearned run in the top of the eighth inning that scored on Dustin Ackley's RBI base hit. The Tar Heels added two insurance runs in the ninth inning.
North Carolina finished with a 15-12 hit advantage. Reid Fronk and Kyle Seager each had three hits with Federowicz, Seth Williams and Garrett Gore adding two apiece for the Tar Heels. Lail went 3-for-5 to lead the Gamecocks at the plate along with two hits from Jones and Phil Disher.
The teams traded second inning runs. North Carolina broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the second putting three hits together with singles from Josh Horton, Seager and Williams. It was Williams' one-out single that scored Horton to give the Heels a one-run lead. That lead would be short-lived though as the Gamecocks came back with one in the bottom half to tie it at one apiece. Lail reached base with a one-out single and would score on a two-out base hit courtesy of Jones.
The Gamecocks batted around in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead against the Tar Heels and knocked out North Carolina starting pitcher Luke Putkonen in the process. Lail and Reese Havens opened the bottom half with singles to put runners on the corners with no outs. With one out, South Carolina put two across the plate on a RBI double to left center gap from Travis Jones. Jones would end up scoring on Justin Smoak's RBI double that also found the gap in left center. The Gamecocks had a chance to tack on more runs, but Tar Heel reliever Rob Wooten fanned Phil Disher and Andrew Crisp with runners in scoring position to keep the Heels within three runs.
The Tar Heels would tie it up at 4-4 in the sixth inning with three runs charged to Cisco. Chad Flack reached base with one out on a fielding error by South Carolina shortstop Reese Havens. The Heels then loaded the bases with a single from Seager and a walk to Williams. Gore then drove in two runs on an infield single that went off the glove of Cisco and rolled into the hole between first and second base. North Carolina then tied it against Atwood as Reid Fronk delivered with his third hit of the night, an RBI single.