ECU Ends Season With 9-3 Loss To UNC
June 7, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Junior All-America Dustin Ackley's three-run home run highlighted a five-run sixth inning as No. 4 national seed North Carolina took game two of the Chapel Hill Super Regional against East Carolina 9-3 at Boshamer Stadium Sunday afternoon. With the win the Tar Heels advance to their fourth consecutive College World Series which will begin June 13 in Omaha, Neb.
Leading 2-0 in the sixth, the Tar Heels (47-16) used five hits to extend its lead to 7-0 and never looked back. Mark Fleury doubled down the right field line to start the frame then moved over to second on a Garrett Gore single off relief pitcher Brand Mincey. Mike Cavasinni pushed across Fleury with another single to put runners at the corners. Seth Baldwin drove in Gore on a fielder's choice for a 4-0 UNC advantage. Ben Bunting followed with a walk before ECU (46-20) brought in Seth Simmons from the pen. Ackley capped the scoring when he connected on a full-count offering from Simmons to left field for his 22nd home run of the season.
Adam Warren improved to 9-2 on the season after working 7 1/3 innings where he allowed three runs on eight hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. Brian Moran closed out the final 1 2/3 innings giving up just two hits to secure another return trip to Omaha.
Kevin Brandt (9-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits in five-plus innings. He fanned five Tar Heels, including three in the first two frames - all looking, and walked three. Mincey recorded one out and gave up three runs, while Simmons allowed a pair of runs in an inning of relief. Patrick Somers made his second appearance in the super regional going 1 2/3 innings with a punch outs and Bailey Daniels made his final appearance in an ECU uniform working the ninth allowing a Gore home run.
UNC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third when Kyle Seager singled up the middle with the bases loaded and two outs. Gored singled to start the frame which was followed by a pair of walks to Bunting and Ackley, leading up to Seager's single.
North Carolina pushed its lead to 8-0 in the seventh thanks to Baldwin's sac fly that scored Gore.
ECU strung together some hits in the eighth closing UNC's lead to 9-3. Austin Homan led off with a pinch-hit single, which was followed by singles from Whitehead and Wood to load the bases with no outs. Kyle Roller plated the first run when he grounded out to second scoring Homan with one out. Brandon Henderson welcomed Moran to the game with a two-RBI single through the right side for his third RBI of the series and 156th of his career.
Offensively the Pirates collected ten hits for the 47th time this season. Whitehead, who became the school's all-time single-season leader in hits (105) went 2-for-5 with a run scored, while Drew Schieber also recorded two hits, going 2-for-4 from the dish in his final game for the Pirates.
Wood's single in the eighth gave him 100 base knocks for the season, making him the third Pirate in school history to register triple-digits in hits in a season (Whitehead-105 in 2009 and Darryl Lawhorn-104 in 2002). He also scored a run to push his career-leading total to 225 and finished with 285 career hits, third all-time at ECU.