Where: T.D. Ameritrade Park, Omaha, NE
When: Wednesday, June 22nd, 7:00 PM
Records: UNC 51-15; Vanderbilt 53-11
CWS Results: UNC lost to Vandy 7-3, def. Texas 3-0; Vandy def. UNC 7-3, lost to FL 3-1
Ah, here's something to take your mind of that nasty letter the NCAA sent on Tuesday.
UNC faces elimination for the second time in the CWS and a rematch with Vanderbilt which once again causes Kevin Stallings to stand in front the closet in his hotel room and debate which shirt to wear. "Look, Stallings has some light blue in a spot on his back! He sucks!"
The younger Stallings will hopefully continue to swing a hot bat and the rest of the lineup will get cranking in support of senior Greg Holt(7-1, 3.57 ERA) who will get the start versus the Commodores. Holt last started the ACC Tournament opener versus Miami where he went 5.2 innings giving up three earned runs on 118 pitches. Holt walked four and struck out six that day. The Heels staked a 5-0 lead but couldn't hold it. Holt did pitch 1.1 innings in relief versus Vanderbilt on Saturday only surrendering one hit. That makes the choice to start Holt an interesting one since Vandy would have seen him already. Chris Munnelly is the normal third starter in the rotation but his numbers have not been that great and Holt is a senior so Fox might be opting for experience here more than anything else. That being said it would not shock me to see Munnelly at some point since I doubt Holt is going to go the distance. The fact Michael Morin has not pitched since he closed the Super Regional clinching game versus Stanford could mean he is available for a long outing. Fox did consider using Patrick Johnson and Johnson coming in from the bullpen could happen if UNC needs him. The ideal situation would be to eliminate Vanderbilt and have Johnson ready to go on near normal rest for Florida on Friday. However UNC cannot afford to look ahead. The goal is to win the game in front of you and let the next game's pitching decisions be made when there is a next game.
The pitching aside, no repeating the 16 runners left on base fiasco from Saturday would be a huge help. UNC has simply been unable to get that timely hit and in many cases has not been aggressive enough at the plate letting third strikes fly by unmolested. Working the pitcher for a walk is one thing but I would much rather see UNC batters tacking swings on 3-2 with two outs and runners on 2nd and 3rd and strike out than the alternative.
Good pitching, hot bats and forgetting about football for a few hours, that's what's on tap tonight.