Friday, June 16, 2006 • Attendance: 23,385 • Box score
Josh Horton and Tim Federowicz produced run-scoring singles in the 13th inning Friday night that carried North Carolina to a 7-5 College World Series victory over Cal State Fullerton.
Mike Cavasinni opened the Tar Heels' 13th with a single and moved to third on Reid Fronk's bad-hop, hit-and-run single. Horton just missed a threerun homer on a drive down the right-field line that curved foul but came back with a single to right to score Cavasinni. Chad Flack followed with a single to load the bases and, one out later, Federowicz singled to make it 7-5.
Adam Jorgensen relieved losing pitcher Lauren Gagnier (14-5) and retired the next two hitters to end the inning. North Carolina, making its first CWS appearance since 1989, then finished off the Titans to bring to an end the longest series game since 1999.
The Bracket One victory, before 23,385 at Rosenblatt Stadium, improved North Carolina to 51-13 and advanced the Tar Heels to a Sunday winners' game against Clemson. Fullerton had a 12-game winning streak snapped, dropped to 48-14 and faces an elimination game Sunday against Georgia Tech.
The much anticipated matchup of All-Americans Andrew Miller of North Carolina and Fullerton's Wes Roemer didn't quite live up to its billing. Each gave up five runs. Miller allowed two homers, one more than he had given up in his first 110 2/3 innings. The four runs North Carolina scored in the first two innings off Roemer matched what he had allowed in his previous 25.
North Carolina wasted no time in scoring off Roemer as Fronk, the Tar Heels' No. 2 hitter, blasted the first pitch he saw into the right-field seats. After Horton struck out, Flack doubled and scored on Jay Cox's single to give North Carolina a 2-0 lead.
Fullerton got a run back in its half of the first as Justin Turner singled, stole second and scored on Danny Dorn's two-out double that carried over center fielder Cavasinni's head. Miller hit Bryan Harris with a pitch but ended the inning by getting Jared Clark to fly out.
North Carolina made it 4-1 two batters into the second. Seth Williams singled and Benji Johnson followed with his 14th homer of the season. Evan McArthur's seventh homer of the season, with one out in the Fullerton second, got the Titans back within 4-2. Fullerton then took the lead in the third as it scored three times after Miller had gotten two quick outs.
Dorn walked and moved to second on Harris' infield single. Clark followed with a drive into the right-field bleachers for his fifth homer of the season.
After Johnson's homer, Roemer settled down and retired the next nine batters. Garrett Gore broke the string by leading off the North Carolina fifth with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on Horton's two-out single to right field. Flack followed with a single but Roemer ended the threat by getting Cox to pop out.
Miller, too, settled down as he moved deeper into the game. He did not allow another hit after Clark's homer until Turner singled with one out in the seventh. A groundout moved him to second but Miller ended the inning by getting Brett Pill on a fly ball to center field.
Miller struck out Dorn to start the eighth, then left the game in favor of reliever Jonathan Hovis. Roemer, too, was done after the eighth, having thrown 118 pitches.
Fullerton threatened in the ninth when Turner doubled with two outs. Hovis intentionally walked Blake Davis but ended the inning by getting Pill to pop out.
The Titans threatened in a wild 11th inning that featured two runners reaching base after strikeouts, a pickoff and a game-saving catch on a high popup by Williams, the Tar Heels' right fielder. Cory Vanderhook started the circus by drawing a walk on a 3-2 pitch that appeared down the middle of the plate.
Vanderhook stole second on the first pitch on a play in which he started for second, stopped and then resumed his theft after the ball went into center field. Turner couldn't bunt him to third and then struck out, although he reached first when catcher Federowicz blocked the low pitch, then had his throw hit Turner in the helmet trying to record the out at first base.
Vanderhook stayed at second but advanced to third when Davis grounded into a forceout. Carolina reliever Matt Danford picked off Vanderhook, with Turner advancing to second. Turner took third, and Pill reached first base, on Federowicz's third-strike passed ball. The Tar Heels intentionally walked Dorn, and David Cooper followed with a high popup that drifted in the wind.
Williams raced in and had to make a diving catch to end the inning.