CWS Game 10: Arizona State 12 UNC 5

FROM NCAA RELEASE

Kole Calhoun (Courtesy of ASU Media Relations)
Kole Calhoun (Courtesy of ASU Media Relations)

OMAHA, Neb. – Left fielder Kole Calhoun went 2-for-3 with six RBI and Arizona State rolled to a 12-5 victory over North Carolina before a sellout crowd of 25,001 Thursday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium.

The Sun Devils, who are making their 21st College World Series appearance in school history, improve to 7-1 in the NCAA Tournament, 51-13 on the season and will meet top-seeded Texas on Friday at 6 p.m. CT.

The Tar Heels, who were playing in their eighth CWS, finish the NCAA Tournament 6-2 and finish the season 48-18.

Arizona State plated 12 unanswered runs after North Carolina jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the fourth inning. The Sun Devils crossed the dish four times in the fifth and eight more times in the seventh to give 25th-year head coach Pat Murphy his 1,000 career win (1,000-456-4).

Five consecutive batters reached base with one out in the Arizona State fifth. Shortstop Drew Maggi reached on a fielder’s choice before center fielder Jason Kipnis and catcher Carlos Ramirez drew free passes to load the bases. Calhoun followed by crushing a grand slam to right center – his 12th long ball of the campaign and third in the CWS.

The Sun Devils proceeded to break things wide open in the seventh when 13 men came to the plate. The frame included eight runs, five hits, four walks, three pitching changes, two stolen bases, one hit batter and one passed ball.

ASU’s second-largest inning of the year was highlighted by Calhoun’s two-run double, second baseman Zack MacPhee’s two-run single, Maggi’s two-run base knock and Ramirez’s RBI single.

Calhoun (2-for-3, 2 R, 6 RBI), MacPhee (2-for-2, 1 R, 2 RBI) and Kipnis (2-for-4, 2 R) all registered multi-hit games for Arizona State, while Calhoun, MacPhee and Maggi (1-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) recorded more than one RBI each.

Arizona State left-hander Josh Spence (7.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO), who used 126 pitches in the contest, improved to 2-0 in the NCAA Tournament and 10-1 overall with the win.

Right-hander Colin Bates (0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO), North Carolina’s third of seven pitchers in the affair, slipped to 4-4 with the loss.

Left fielder Ben Bunting (2-for-3, 1 R), center fielder Mike Cavasinni (2-for-4, 1 RBI), right fielder Garrett Gore (2-for-5, 1 R) and third baseman Kyle Seager (2-for-5, 1 RBI) all turned in multi-hit performances for UNC. The Tar Heels collected 11 hits on the night – their ninth consecutive game with double-figure base knocks.

North Carolina raced out to a 4-0 advantage with one run in the second and three in the fourth.

Designated hitter Jacob Stallings brought home the first Tar Heel score in each frame with a pair of safety squeezes. Cavasinni and shortstop Ryan Graepel followed with back-to-back RBI singles in the fourth to give the Tar Heels a four-run cushion.

That’s when ASU took over and never looked back as 18 Sun Devils reached base in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

UNC first baseman Dustin Ackley, the second overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, finished 1-for-5 with a ninth-inning single. The base knock extended Ackley’s NCAA Tournament hitting streak to 22 games and increased his College World Series all-time best hit total to 28.

The result was Arizona State’s second win over North Carolina in the 2009 CWS. The Sun Devils also posted a 5-2, 10-inning win over the Tar Heels in the opening round on Sunday.

Texas, 48-14-1 overall, can advance to the College World Championship Finals with a win on Friday. An Arizona State win would force the “if necessary” game for Bracket Two on Saturday.

Thursday night’s crowd pushes the 2009 CWS attendance total to 228,209 in just 10 games (average of 22,821).

MCWS NOTES

Arizona State (2-1) advances to meet Texas (2-0) in Friday’s Bracket 2 Championship. Arizona State will need to defeat Texas twice to advance to the MCWS Championship Finals. North Carolina (1-1) is eliminated. (Texas will be the home team in Friday’s 6 p.m. game).

*-Tonight’s crowd of 25,001 is the largest of the 2009 MCWS.
*-It is the 10th straight game over 3 hours in this year’s MCWS, and 19 straight non-championship series games at the MCWS have gone over 3 hours dating to last year. Tonight’s game took 4:04, making it the fourth-longest nine-inning game in MCWS history (and the second 4:04 game of the 2009 MCWS, ASU/UT). The last three MCWS games have all lasted at least four hours. It is the first-ever MCWS with three games lasting at least four hours.
*-The six wild pitches (UNC 5, ASU 1) tonight tied for second all-time in a MCWS game.
Arizona State
*-With tonight’s win, Arizona State improves to 61-35 all-time in 21 MCWS appearances. The Sun Devils rank third all-time in both wins (61) and games played (96).
*-Arizona State is now second nationally with 51 wins this season (LSU has 53 wins). It is Arizona State’s 16th 50-win season and second under Head Coach Pat Murphy.
*-Today’s win was the 1,000th career victory by Arizona State Coach Pat Murphy, as he is 1,000-455-4 in 24 seasons as a head coach. He is now 629-234-1 in 14 seasons at Arizona State.
*-The four-run deficit ties the largest lead Arizona State has overcome this season. The Sun Devils also overcame a four-run deficit against San Diego on May 5, a game the Sun Devils won 8-7 in 11 innings.
*-Kole Calhoun’s six RBI is a career high, as he had driven in four runs on two previous games (Washington State, 4/10; at Arizona, 4/29) and is the first six RBI game at the MCWS since Fresno State’s Steve Detwiler had six RBI against Georgia on June 25, 2008.
*-Calhoun’s six RBI is the second six-RBI game by an Arizona State player this season (Jason Kipnis vs. Arizona on 3/22).
*-The grand slam by Arizona State Kole Calhoun was the 46th in the MCWS history (complete list on page 59) and the first by a Sun Devil in the MCWS since Michael Collins in 1998. ASU’s other two grand slams in the MCWS were by Sal Bando (1965) and Bob Horner (1978).
*-The eight-run seventh inning was Arizona State’s second-largest inning total of the season (13 vs. Arizona on 4/29).
*-Calhoun is 2-for-2 with two homers and seven RBI against North Carolina’s Brian Moran in the MCWS.
*-Calhoun is hitting .500 (6-for-12) with three homers, 10 RBI, five runs scored and a 1.417 slugging percentage in his three MCWS contests.
*-Josh Spence is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his two starts, fanning 16 over 14 innings in Omaha. Spence has thrown 248 pitches and has gone seven innings in both of his MCWS starts.
*-Before the grand slam by Calhoun, Arizona State had been outscored 14-0 dating back the fourth inning of Tuesday’s loss to Texas.
*-This is the second time that Arizona State starter Josh Spence faced the same team in consecutive starts. He faced Missouri on Feb. 24 (0 R over 7.0 IP) and March 1 (2 R over 5.2 IP). It is also the second time that Spence has made a start on three days rest (Feb. 20 and Feb. 24).
*-Arizona State is now 29-1 this season when a starter goes seven or more innings in a start.
*-Arizona State is now 5-1 all-time against North Carolina in program history.
*-Drew Maggi extended his own ASU’s freshman runs scored record to 63 with two runs scored tonight. The previous high was 60 by Barry Bonds in 1983.
*-Arizona State reached double figures in runs for the 22th time this season and are 22-0 on the season.
*-North Carolina falls to 14-17 all-time at the MCWS, as the Tar Heels are making their eighth appearance in Omaha. UNC is 12-9 over its last three MCWS appearances.
*-North Carolina has posted a 213-63 record over the last four seasons, the most wins in the nation in that span.
*- North Carolina has been eliminated by the eventual national champion in each of the last three seasons (Oregon State, 2006-07; Fresno State, 2008)
*- UNC has been the last remaining ACC team in each of the past four seasons, and will tie Virginia for fifth place (both went 1-2 at the MCWS). The only ACC team to win a national title was Wake Forest in 1955.
*-North Carolina falls to 6-2 in bracket-play elimination games at the MCWS over the last three seasons.
*-Garrett Gore set a MCWS career record with his 21th appearance on Tuesday, breaking Daryl Arenstein’s record for career games set between 1970-73.
*- The two RBI by North Carolina’s Jacob Stallings ties a career-high previously set against VMI on Feb. 22. Stallings had driven in two runs in his first nine games since returning to the lineup following a broken bone in his left hand on April 17.
*-Matt Harvey’s four wild pitches sets a MCWS single-game record. The previous high was three set 14 other times, most recently by Koley Kolberg of Arizona against Georgia on June 18, 2004. Harvey had thrown only nine pitches in his first 70.2 innings entering the 2009 MCWS. Harvey’s five walks is also a season high, bettering his previous high of four set five other times this year.
*-Brian Moran had allowed just two homers in his first 64.2 innings of work entering the MCWS. In Omaha, he has allowed two homers – both to Kole Calhoun – in 1.2 innings of work. Moran has allowed only 12 of 42 inherited runners to score entering the MCWS, has allowed all four runners he has inherited to score in Omaha.
*-The 12 runs allowed by North Carolina is a season high. UNC had allowed 11 runs twice this year, most recently against Virginia on May 22.
*-The Tar Heels are making their fourth straight MCWS appearance, which is the most ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference school. It is the 13th time that a team had made at least four consecutive MCWS appearances. The four straight appearances are the most since Texas made four straight MCWS appearances between 2002 and 2005.
*-Dustin Ackley’s finishes the 2009 MCWS with a MCWS all-time record 28 hits and has hit .412 (28-68) over the last three seasons. Ackley finished the 2009 MCWS with a .500 average (8-for-16) in the 2009 MCWS.
*- Ackley has hit safely in his last 21 NCAA Tournament games dating back to the 2007 campaign and has hit safely in 26 of 31 career postseason contests.
*-Ackley finishes the season with 111 hits, tying Braeden Riley of Sam Houston State for the national lead in hits.
*-The 10 walks by North Carolina is the just the second time this year North Carolina has walked 10 or more hitters in a game. The other time was a season-high 13 walks against Florida State on April 12.
*-Ackley finished the 2009 season with a .417 average, to tie for third in school history, while also ranking in the top-10 in homers (22, third), RBI (73, sixth) and runs (75, sixth).
*-Garrett Gore went 2-for-4 on Thursday and finished the MCWS with a .375 (6-for-16) average. In his first three trips to Omaha, Gore hit just .193 in 18 MCWS contest. Gore finished the postseason with a .436 (17-for-39) with three homers and 11 RBI and has six multi-hit games in his eight NCAA contests.