We can now look ahead to the 2008 MLB Draft prospects as Pedro Alvarez (Vanderbilt) and Justin Smoak (South Carolina) lead the draft eligible players. They will also be joined by pitchers Jacob Thompson (UVA) and Brian Matusz (USD). All four of these players are on Team USA this summer as the team will take part in the Pan-American games and the World Port Tournament in the Netherlands. Ike Davis (Arizona State) and Jordan Danks (Texas) also get some talk about being in the top of the 2008 draft. We have found two sites that are already giving their predictions on the upcoming draft which can be read about by clicking the links below.
BURLINGTON, NC— Roger Kieschnick (Texas Tech) hit his second home run of the series, the go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth, to lead Team USA (7-1) to a 6-4 victory over Chinese Taipei (1-2) in the second game of the five-game series. Kieschnick finished with three RBIs, all coming in the last two innings.
Ryan Flaherty (Vanderbilt) had two RBI singles, while Jordan Danks (Texas) reached base safely three times, scoring three times on two walks and a single.
Chinese Taipei scored four runs in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4, after the Americans took a 4-0 lead in the top of the inning with three runs.
Closer Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) gave up a two-run, two-out double by Chuan Lin Yi to tie the game at 4-4. Back-to-back RBI doubles off of Josh Romanski (San Diego) cut the lead to 4-2. Satterwhite (1-0) ended up with the win, rebounding with a scoreless ninth.
Team USA finally solved reliever Wen Cheng Kai with three runs in the eighth to lead 4-0. Kai had retired the first six batters he faced, before giving up a leadoff walk to Jordan Danks (Texas). Danks came around to score for the second time in the game on a Kieschnick RBI single, before Flaherty followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0. A sacrifice fly by Justin Smoak (South Carolina) made it 4-0.
Jen Lo Chia pitched five strong innings for Chinese Taipei, allowing just one hit, but trailing 1-0. He walked three and struck out another three on 72 pitches. Jacob Thompson (Virginia) countered with six scoreless innings of two-hit ball. He struck out two and walked two, using just 79 pitches.
Flaherty drove in Danks in the third to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Catcher Mu Chen Jui had two of the first three hits for CTBA. The second hit came in the eighth. CTBA finished with six hits.
The Americans were the designated visitor after serving as the home team on Friday… the first half of the game saw a steady downpour of rain…. Team USA had a three-hit shutout last night and had 16 scoreless innings in the series until CTBA scored in the eighth… the game times tonight, Sunday and Monday (7 p.m. /12 p.m./10 a.m.) represent close to the same times the Americans will play at the Pan American Games next month (7 p.m. /11 a.m. /9 a.m.).
The Chinese Taipei series will continue in Cary, NC at the National Training Complex (July 1-2) at noon on Sunday and 10 a.m. on Monday, before finishing off in Kannapolis, NC (July 3) at 7 p.m. The 10-game North Carolina home stand continues with Japan on July 4 to begin a five-game series.
Team USA completed their tour of New England with a 5-4 victory over the Newport Gulls (NECBL). Team USA scored four runs in the first inning with the first run coming on a double by Justin Smoak (South Carolina). Brett Wallace (Arizona State) then followed up with a three run homer in his first at bat of the summer with Team USA. The coaching staff of Team USA used the game to get five pitchers work in the game. Jacob Thompson (UVA) started and gave up no runs on one hit and two walks. Mike Minor (Vanderbilt) came in for two innings while giving up two hits and striking out four batters. Eric Surkamp (NC State) then came in to pitch two innings but gave up one run on two hits. Josh Romanski (San Diego) came in relief of Surkamp and gave up three runs in his two innings of work. Cody Satterwhite (Ole Miss) gave up two hits but did not give up a run as he got his first save of the summer for Team USA. The team will be off until June 29th when they play Chinese Taipei in Burlington NC.
Liberty University has hired Jim Toman to lead their baseball program. Toman was the Associate Head Coach at South Carolina before accepting this position. He has spent the last 18 years as a member of Ray Tanner’s staff at South Carolina and previously at NC State. He is regarded as one of the top recruiters in the nation as he has lead the Gamecocks to a top 25 recruiting class every year for the last eleven years.
Team USA continued their tour of New England with a 9-1 victory over the North Adams Steeplecats who play in the NECBL. Justin Smoak from South Carolina and Roger Kieschnick of Texas Tech hit back to back homers while Ryan Flaherty went 2-4 with two RBI in the win. Mike Minor started the game and gave up only one hit and one run in three innings of work. Team USA is back in action on Thursday when they head to play against the Keene Swampbats who is also a member of the NECBL.
Team USA Recap
North Adams Recap
North Carolina knocked off South Carolina in Game 3 of their Super Regional on Sunday by a score of 9-4. North Carolina was trailing 4-1 heading into the sixth inning. The Tar Heels were able to get three runs across in the top of the sixth on three hits and took advantage of an error by South Carolina to tie the game at 4. The Tar Heels were able to hold the Gamecocks scoreless in the bottom of the sixth to keep the game tied. Tim Federowicz led off the top of the seventh with a single to left field and was brought home immediately with a Chad Flack homer to take the lead for good. North Carolina added a single run in the eighth and two runs in the ninth to set up the final scoreline. Andrew Carignan pitched the final four innings while giving up only 1 hit and three walks to up his record to 2-1. Will Atwood got the loss for the Gamecocks which ends Atwood’s season with a 2-2 mark. North Carolina heads to Omaha for the College World Series while South Carolina ends the season with a 46-20 record.
Game 2 of the North Carolina and South Carolina Super Regional match-up was suspended in the middle of the seventh inning on Saturday evening as severe weather entered the Chapel Hill area. The Gamecocks led the game 8-5 before the suspension of the game. The teams returned to the field at 2:30 on Sunday and the Gamecocks were able to hold on to a 8-6 victory. South Carolina reliever Jeff Jeffords was able to get out of a situation with the tying run on second base with two outs by getting Garrett Gore to ground out in the eighth inning.
Justin Smoak led the Gamecocks in the game by going 2-3 with a homer, two RBI, and three runs scored. Tim Federowicz led the Tar Heels with a 3-5 game with two RBI.
The teams will meet in a decisive game at 7:00 pm on Sunday with the winner going to the College World Series.
The North Carolina Tar Heels erased a 6-0 deficit by scoring nine runs over the sixth and seventh innings as the Tar Heels defeated South Carolina 9-6. UNC starter Robert Woodard gave up six runs in 6.1 innings of work in his last appearance at Boshamer Stadium but got the no decision. The UNC offense woke up in the sixth inning after being put in a 6-0 hole. The Tar Heels were able to take advantage of four hits and a South Carolina error to score three runs to get back in the game as they trailed 6-3. UNC held South Carolina scoreless in the top of the seventh. The Tar Heels were able to bat around in the bottom of the seventh when they got six hits and a South Carolina error again to score six big runs and take the 9-6 lead. Andrew Carignan pitched the final 2.0 innings to pick up his 15th save of the season. UNC reliever Rob Wooten got the after pitching 2/3 of an inning to put his record at 6-1. South Carolina reliever Curtis Johnson got the loss by pitching one inning while giving up four runs. His record drops to 1-3. North Carolina was led on offense by Josh Horton who went 3-5 while South Carolina was led by Reese Havens who went 2-4.
The South Carolina Gamecocks head north to take on Regional rivals North Carolina in a Super Regional showdown. The winner of the best of three series will head to the College World Series in Omaha NE. The games will be played at 7 pm Friday on ESPN, 7 pm Saturday on ESPN, and 7 pm Sunday on ESPN 2 (if necessary).
South Carolina (45-18)
The Gamecocks are coming off a perfect regional with victories over Wofford 9-1 in the opening game then defeated Charlotte in the winner’s 12-8 and then in the Regional Championship they took on the 49ers again by knocking them off 11-6. South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner is in his 11th season at SC with a 499-218 record. He was at NC State for nine years before moving to SC as his overall record as a head coach is 894-391-3 in 20 years. He leads one of the top hitting teams in the country this season in which his team has a batting average of .302. The team is led by the potential number 1 draft pick in 2008 in Justin Smoak. He wowed scouts and players in the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2006. The CBB was also impressed by him last season when he saw Cotuit play Hyannis. Smoak is hitting .317 with 21 HR and 69 RBI. He is not the only power threat on the team as James Darnell leads the team in hitting with a .335 BA and 18 HR on the year. Phil Disher is also a potent hitter with a .327 BA and 15 HR. The South Carolina pitching staff is led by Harris Honeycutt who sports only an 8-5 record and 3.59 ERA. Arik Hempy (6-3, 3.38 ERA) and Mike Cisco (6-2, 3.76 ERA) round out the pitching staff. Jeff Jeffords leads the team with five saves. He sports an ERA of 2.87 and a record of 6-1 in 22 appearances.
South Carolina Game Notes
South Carolina Season Stats
North Carolina (51-12)
The North Carolina Tar Heels also had a perfect regional with victories over Jacksonville 6-0, East Carolina 11-10, and Western Carolina 6-5. The Tar Heels needed ninth inning rallies in the East Carolina and Western Carolina games but were able to survive. The Tar Heels are led by ninth year head coach Mike Fox who has a 392-172-1 record in his career at his alma mater. He was the head coach Wesleyan for 15 years to put his career record as a head coach at 932-313-5 in 24 years. The Tar Heels are making returning to the Super Regional round after making the College World Series final series eventually losing to Oregon State. They are led by freshman sensation Dustin Ackley who leads the team in hitting with a .427 batting average. He has also hit seven homers on the season. Tim Fedroff is also a freshman and is second on the team with a .363 batting average. Robert Woodard leads the starting pitchers with a 10-2 record and a 3.02 ERA. He is joined by Alex White (6-4, 3.87 ERA) and Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.46 ERA) who round out the starting pitchers. Fox has also been using Rob Wooten out of the bullpen as he has 38 appearances with a 5-1 record and a 2.38 ERA. Andrew Carignan is the closer for the Heels as he leads the team with 14 saves with an ERA of 1.53. He carries experience in pitching in the CWS last season.
UNC Series Notes
UNC Season Stats
News and Observer Article about Woodard
News and Observer Article about Boshamer Stadium
Friday: UNC Robert Woodard (10-2, 3.02 ERA) vs SC Harris Honeycutt (8-5, 3.59 ERA)
Saturday: UNC Alex White (6-4, 3.87 ERA) vs SC Arik Hempy (6-3, 3.38 ERA)
Sunday: UNC Luke Putkonen (7-1, 4.46 ERA) vs SC Mike Cisco (6-2, 3.76 ERA)
The CBB predicts that South Carolina wins the Super Regional in three games as they take advantage of the UNC pitching staff.
Greensboro News Record
The Gamecocks finished off a perfect weekend by eliminating the Charlotte 49ers 11-6 in the Columbia (SC) regional. The Gamecocks were led by a strong game from Phil Disher who hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to erase a three run deficit and give the Gamecocks the lead for good as they cruised to victory. South Carolina now heads to UNC for a Super Regional showdown while Charlotte ends the season with a 49-12 record.
South Carolina Recap
The State Column about USC