Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Previewing the College World Series Final

Posted by Mike on June 23, 2007

North Carolina-Oregon State II is about to begin tonight, so there is some info you should know before you watch:

cws.jpg

Game 1: Tonight, 7 pm.

Starters: Alex White (UNC) vs. Jorge Reyes (OSU)
Game 2: Sunday, 7 pm.

Starters: Luke Putkonen (UNC) vs. Mike Stutes (OSU)

Game 3 (if necessary): Monday, 7 pm.

Possible starters: Robert Woodard (UNC) vs. Daniel Turpen (OSU)

Key relief pitchers:

  • Oregon State: Eddie Kunz (closer), Anton Maxwell, Mark Grbavac.
  • North Carolina: Andrew Carignan (closer), Rob Wooten, Matt Danford.

Key position players:

  • Oregon State: Mitch Canham, C (.321 Batting average, 10 HR, 57 RBI, .993 fielding percentage); Mike Lissman, LF (.325 BA, 10 HR, 61 RBI, 1.000 fielding); Jordan Lennerton, 1B (.313 BA, 8 HR, 48 BRI, .995 fielding).
  • North Carolina: Dustin Ackley, 1B (.403 BA, 9 HR, 72 RBI, .989 fielding); Josh Horton, SS (.335 BA, 9 HR, 53 RBI, .939 fielding); Tim Federowicz, C (.339 BA, 4 HR, 64 RBI, .997 fielding); Reid Fronk, LF (.319 BA, 11 HR, 56 RBI, .993 fielding).

What UNC must do to win:

  • Good starting pitching. Our starting staff has spent most of the postseason being knocked around by opposing offenses; in 11 postseason games, only four times has the Heels’ starting pitcher lasted longer than five innings (the opener against Jacksonville, and their three elimination games heading into the final series). Fortunately, most of the time the bullpen has been able to pitch well enough in relief for the offense to pull off a momentous comeback, as 5 of our 11 victories have come after a deficit of 2 runs or more. In particular, Alex White has had a rough first postseason. He needs to have a decent start against Oregon State tonight if the Heels want to win.
  • The bullpen must continue to play shutout baseball. Wooten and Carignan have almost always been able to stop any offensive momentum from their opponents this season. How much luck the Tar Heels have in the finals will depend just as much on the bullpen as on the starters, if not more so.
  • Wake up the bats. North Carolina has been shockingly devoid of offensive power in the postseason. Then on Thursday against Rice, the Heels hit four home runs. The UNC offense is led by National Freshman of the Year Dustin Ackley, and they cannot afford him to slump like he had for the first 9 games of the playoffs.

All of the live blogs will be on Tar Heel Mania. Enjoy the series.

One Response to “Previewing the College World Series Final”

  1. […] loss to the Oregon State Beavers in the 2006 Finals. For a preview of the Series, see my preview on Digital Headbutt or Brian Foley’s College Baseball […]

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