Live from Omaha: CWS Game 7
NORTH CAROLINA (57-11) vs. LSU (57-10)
3 p.m. ET Tuesdsay (ESPN) | TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, Neb.
Announcers: Karl Ravech, Kyle Peterson, Kaylee Hartung
Series History: Tied 2-2 Last: June 20, 2008 (UNC 7-3) Recap
Game Details Scoreboard Watch Listen Brackets: Interactive CWS
|Notes | Roster | Schedule Stats: Season | Postseason||Notes | Roster | Schedule Stats: Season | Postseason|
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B9: Looks like McCue is going to get the first crack at closing this game out. He threw 16 pitches in the eighth, working around a hit and a HBP. McCue has one save this year. The Tar Heels do have double-barrel action in the bullpen ... No team has won trailing by 2+ runs entering the ninth inning at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in 112 games -- bad stat obviously for LSU ... but they'll have their three biggest bats up in Bregman, Katz and Rhymes ... Bregman flies out to RF and Katz follows with a walk. Rhymes flies out leaving things in the hands of Christian Ibarra as he stands at the plate as the tying run ... Ibarra strikes out swinging and UNC survives in a game which took 3:01. Trent Thornton improves to 12-1 while Cody Glenn ends his season at 7-3. The Tar Heels survive to see Thursday while LSU and its huge fan base in Omaha head back to Baton Rouge ... North Carolina wins 4-2.
T9: Big question for North Carolina ... who will close things out? That's what happens when you use your primary closer as a starter. That part worked, but we'll see who Mike Fox turns to in the bottom half after UNC goes 1-2-3 in the top.
B8: Thornton is coming back out for th eeighth. This is what Mike Fox needed from a pitching staff that had not seen a starter get out of the third inning in quite a while ... But he walks Christian Ibarra to start the inning and that'll do it for him. In comes Chris McCue to face Ty Ross ... He hits a liner to second which is caught by Mike Zolk for the first out of the inning. Ross hit it hard but right at him ... JaCoby Jones followed with a base hit to left and LSU has the tying runs on ... loud cheers from the Tigers' fans in attendance as Tyler Moore will pinch hit for light-hitting Andrew Stevenson. Moore his a .284 hitter but only .259 with RISP ... McCue gets Moore for the second out on a fly ball to LF. It's now left to Sean McMullen -- a clutch hitter who's hit .429 with RISP and .300 with two outs ... And McCue htis McMullen to load the bases. Here's Mark Laird who is 3-for-4 today but doesn't have a hit this year with the sacks full ... And it'll stay that way for now as Laird pops out to LF to end the inning. LSU is down to its final three outs in Omaha as we go to the ninth inning.
T8: Today's attendance -- 21,380, which brings the series-total to 168,032 for an average of 23,790 ... Nothing doing for the Tar Heels in the eighth.
B7: LSU won't go away as lead-off hitter Sean McMullen laces one down the right field line for a double to start things in the seventh. Mark Laird followed with a bloop single to left, but McMullen had to hold up at third. Let's see how long Mike Fox sticks with Thornton with runners at the corners and the tying run in Bregman at the plate ... Thornton stays in the game and gets Bregman to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. It does score a run, though, and cuts the lead in half ... Mason Katz's infield single got the tying run to the plate, but Raph Rhymes lined out to CF to end the inning ... that's eight left on base for Rhymes in the game. Thornton hsa tossed a career-high 109 pitches through seven innings ... 4-2 North Carolina.
T7: Lead-off single by Colin Moran -- who seems to be off the shnide -- leads to Moran moving up to second on a sac bunt from Holberton. Another chance for the Tar Heels to tack on a run with Cody Stubbs up, and with that, Paul Mainieri comes out of the LSU dugout to make a pitching change. They'll turn to closer Chris Cotton -- the third lefty of the day -- with one out in the seventh inning ... Skye Bolt finally does deliver that run with a base hit to left to score Moran with two outs and UNC regains its two-run lead ... Before that hit, the two teams were a combined 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. The Tar Heels are now 2-for-8 ... 4-1 North Carolina.
B6: Trent Thornton has risen to the challenge in his firs tstart since March 27 against Winthrop. Thornton is through six innings after getting LSU in order and sits at 94 pitches. His longest outing of the year came against Gardner-Webb hen he threw 7.2 inning sof one-hit ball.
T6: LSU catcher Ty Ross guns down Mike Zolk as he was attempting to steal first. The throw was so good -- or the jump off first was so bad -- that Zolk stopped before he got to second and tried to head back to first, but Alex Bregman ran him down to record the out. Props to Bonvillain who is working his fourth inning in relief of Glenn and while he hasn't been spotless, he's worked in and out of trouble to keep the Tigers in this thing. Bnovillain has thrown 61 pitches in four innings as we head to the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers still trailing by a pair.
B5: Back-to-back singles by Sean McMullen and Mark Laird have the tying run at the plate -- again -- for LSU and it's Alex Bregman, the guy they want up ... And Bregman strikes out for the second out, but Mason Katz picks up the feshman by lining a single into left which scores McMullen to get LSU on the board ... That's all they'll get in the fifth as Raph Rhymes flies out to end the inning. Tough day for Rhymes as he's 0-for-3 and has left seven men on base. The Tigers as a team have left seven on base. Yeah that's right, all seven belong to Rhymes -- ouch ... 3-1 North Carolina.
T5: Skye Bolt without a two-out double that one-hops the walk in LF. You'd think LSU is going to have an inning here where they get it going so any more runs that the Tar Heels can put up would be huge ... but just like that the threat is over as Michael Russell grounds out softly to second base. IF they don't win this game, UNC is not going to be happy with the runners they've left on base which totals seven through five innings.
T4: Brent Bonvillain works around a two-out single by Lassiter to keep UNC off the board in the fourth. The Tar Heels now outhitting the Tigers 7-2.
B3: Mark Laird with a liner up the middle that hit second base umpire David Savage which leads to two runners on with one out. Big chance here with .374 hitter Alex Bregman up. He's a cool. 384 hitter with runners in scoring position, but he grounds into a fielder's choice as Trent Thornton throws to second to get Laird. Runners now on the corners for Mason Katz, who's hit one of the two home runs here at the CWS ... And Katz walks to load the bases. Raph Rhymes' turn ... Thornton gets Rhymes on a pop up to end the inning. Things just not clicking for the LSU offense for a second consecutive game here in Omaha.
T3: Wild play nets North Carolina another run. Following a Landon Lassiter double, Colin Moran hit one down the first base line that hit the bag, shot straight up in the air and then bounced away from second baseman JaCoby Jones which allowed Lassiter to score all the way from second. Credit Moran with his nation-leading 89th RBI on the play. That'll do it for Cody Glenn as he lasts just 2-plus innings. In is fellow lefty Brent Bonvillain (3-0, 2.76), and promptly the bases are loaded after a single by Holberton and a walk to Cody Stubbs. LSU in major trouble ... Skye Bolt swings and misses at a ball in the dirt for the first out. Michael Russell -- a .250 hitter this year with the bases loaded -- popped up to the catcher, and now it's left to Mike Zolk -- a .556 batter with the sacks loaded this season. Zolk grounds out to second to end the threat. UNC only gets one run and LSU escapes huge trouble ... 3-0 North Carolina.
B2: Thornton gets three quick outs on a lineout and two fly balls. He's through 31 pitches -- 16 strikes.
T2: Matt Harvey lost his no-no in Atlanta but there are other good signs for the Tar Heels today besides that. UNC is the only team in the nation that hasn't lost consecutive games this season. Bodes well in a double-elimination format ... Michael Russell chops one up the middle over the head of pitcher Cody Glenn for a lead-off hit. They already have three hits when it took seemingly forever to reach that on Sunday ... Cody Glenn continues to struggle on the hill for the Tigers, walking Parks Jordan after a sac bunt. LSU already has two arms up in the bullpen -- righty Nate Fury and lefty Brent Bonvillain ... Glenn gets exactly what he needed as Chaz Frank hits a liner to first that Mason Katz grabbed and doubled off Jordan. At 40 pitches, that's huge.
B1: So UNC's Trent Thornton retires the first two LSU batters and then walks the next two. He only had 15 walks in 84.2 innings coming in. Weird start. Raph Rhymes up looking to answer UNC's two-spot in the top of the inning ... Thornton gets out of it by getting Rhymes to lift a lazy fly ball to right.
T1: With a lefty starting for LSU, it's the fifth consecutive game that the Tar Heels have seen one start against them. Coincidence? Probably not with six lefties in the starting lineup. Nine of UNC's 11 losses have come when a lefthander has started against them ... After two quick outs including a three-pitch strikeout to start the game, Colin Moran singled through the rightside ... Who said the fences should be pulled in? Brian Holberton -- a lefty -- smacks a two-run home run to give the Tar Heels a much needed lead. It's Holberton's 12th bomb of the year ... The inning ends with a fielders' choice after a hit by pitch. After playing from behind a lot recently, this has to feel really, really good for UNC ... 2-0 North Carolina.
Pregame: Good omen for UNC? Former Tar Heels pitcher Matt Harvey has a no-hitter through six innings for the Mets in Atlanta this afternoon. Here's the weather report: it's 71 degrees after the rain has moved on, with mostly cloudy skies. It should get warmer and warmer as the day goes on and we get more sunshine. The wind is calm. Here we go, one really good team will be packing their bags in a couple hours.
Pregame: The rain is moving out and it should be another great day for baseball here in Omaha. A lot of people were expeting this matchup -- LSU and North Carolina -- but not in Tuesday's first game. One of the three national seeds in Omaha will head home. The starting pitchers today: for the Tar Heels, it'll be their closer Trent Thornton (11-1, 1.28) who has started five games this season. While for LSU, it'll be lefty Cody Glenn (7-2, 2.41).
LSU has previously lost its first game of the CWS six times (1986, 89, 1994, 2003, 04, 08) and it has never come back to win a CWS championship after a first-game loss. ... LSU has committed nine errors in the NCAA tournament. Four have come from Alex Bregman including one Sunday and two have come from Ty Ross including one Sunday as well. ... LSU’s 57 wins tie the university and SEC record for most overall wins. Its 48 regular season wins and 23 SEC wins established a school record for most regular season and conference victories.
UNC used eight pitchers on Sunday, which tied a CWS single-game record. The last time a team used eight hurlers in a CWS game was Florida State against Arizona last year (June 21). ... The loss to NC State was the third consecutive in the opening round of the CWS for the Tar Heels. They lost to Arizona State (5-2) in 2009 and Vanderbilt (7-3) in 2011. ... Head coach Mike Fox is one of 13 skippers to both play in and coach in the CWS as he was a member of Carolina’s 1978 CWS team.