Chapelboro.com http://chapelboro.com More of what you live here for Mon, 30 Mar 2015 03:00:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 More of what you live here for Chapelboro.com no More of what you live here for Chapelboro.com http://chapelboro.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://chapelboro.com Art’s Angle: More Talent, Toughness Needed   http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/arts-angle-more-talent-toughness-needed/ http://chapelboro.com/columns/sports-notebook/arts-angle-more-talent-toughness-needed/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 03:00:43 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136762 LOS ANGELES — The Tar Heels made the big stage of the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in three years, but that stage turned out to be too big for them. Teams that live to play again are teams that are talented enough and, more importantly, tough enough to make the critical plays when […]

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LOS ANGELES — The Tar Heels made the big stage of the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in three years, but that stage turned out to be too big for them.

Photo by Rebecca Noble, Daily Wildcat

Photo by Rebecca Noble, Daily Wildcat

Teams that live to play again are teams that are talented enough and, more importantly, tough enough to make the critical plays when they count. Carolina is not yet there.

Wisconsin won behind Sam “Dagger” Dekker, who scored a career high 23 points and then was better (27) against Arizona in the regional final. That side of the NCAA bracket featured one of the greatest games of this, or any, tournament, when top-ranked Kentucky survived plucky Notre Dame in Cleveland.

Sunday’s side was more of the same, when seventh seed Michigan State toughed it out over low-post Louisville in overtime and Duke with talent, toughness and togetherness beat back a Gonzaga team that just wasn’t prepared for that level of competition. Because of what each of the Final Four teams brings to the table in Indy, any of the four winning would not be a big surprise.

UNC still leads the NCAA Tournament with the most Sweet Sixteen appearances (now 32) but the Tar Heels are living proof of what it takes to get out of the regional round and onto the biggest stage, the Final Four. Just in the Roy Williams era, Carolina has done it three times with a combination of talent that went on to the NBA and tough guys who would not back down.

People have asked for the last three years, “What’s wrong with the Tar Heels?”

Simply put, they no longer have a lineup filled with enforcers and future pros. In 2005, Felton, May, McCants and Marvin were all NBA lottery picks. In 2009, ditto for Hansbrough, Lawson and Ellington, plus Danny Green and Ed Davis. In 2012, when injuries killed Carolina’s chances to challenge Kentucky, the Heels had Barnes, Henson, Marshall, Zeller, Bullock, McAdoo and Hairston – all currently in the show.

Who, among the 2015 team that finished 26-12 with at least a half-dozen defeats that could have gone the other way, is a sure-shot pro? No one at this juncture.

The Sweet Sixteen and Elite 8, in my opinion, are more intense than the Final Four because teams are vying to get there. And the arenas are less corporate, with mostly partisan fans creating a true college atmosphere that rocks the house. And when they are played in basketball buildings, as opposed to dome stadiums, like in LA and Cleveland, it is Maxx Madness.

Teams have to be both talented and tough to survive all that and move on.

Photo by Alex Chansky

Photo by Alex Chansky

Wisconsin is playing the best basketball in the country right now and would not be an upset winner over Kentucky Saturday in Indianapolis. The Badgers have a deep, complementary team, but their two stars are 7-foot Frank “The Tank” Kaminsky and the 6-9 Dekker, who would not let his team lose both games when they were on the brink. Kaminsky and Dekker, who combined for 56 points in the 85-78 win over Arizona, were No. 12 and No. 22 in last week’s NBA mock draft. Both, especially West Regional MVP Dekker, will move up in the next mock listing.

Carolina’s loss to the Badgers, though gutty, was eerily similar to a handful of games during the season, when the Tar Heels gave up second-half leads (think Louisville, Duke twice and Notre Dame, to name four. At the turning point, they made the critical mistakes (despite matching a season-low four turnovers) or could not make the crucial hoop.

Occasional Chapelboro columnist and former UNC baseball player Dave Kirk emailed with these comments:

“Honestly, about as good a game as we have played this year. (Roy used) 4 TO’s!!! Are you kidding me? Wow.

“Our shooting really improved over the past month (we have 3-4 guys who are now capable of hitting 3’s).

“Very pleased by the progression of our freshmen…JJ (Justin Jackson) was our MVP last night and Berry was huge.

“Defense and FT shooting are still major pain points. We seem to be good for about 28 seconds.

“Carolina was a good, but not great team this year and that was difference of “woulda, coulda.” We were incapable of doing many “little things” necessary to win against the very good teams.

“Three sequences stand out in last Thursday’s game that were microcosms of our season…

  • Up 7 and Tokoto gets breakaway and cannot finish – worse, gives up ball. We blow a chance to inflict dagger points.
  • We are up 2 or 4 and Britt takes ill-advised running baseline jumper and misses; next possession he gets pocket picked and any momentum we have is gone. Average players put in key situations where we needed tough minded and talented players.
  • We are down 1 and need a key stop after Paige hits those clutch 3’s and Isaiah Hicks throws his hip into Wisconsin guard, who hits two FTs without any real challenge. Conversely, on next play, Hicks draws foul and MISSES both. We could not get big defensive stops when we needed them and we missed way too many clutch shots (and FT’s) when we needed them.

“That said, we played hard and hustled our asses off. Roy has to be pleased with the effort. We were very much in that game.” 

Thanks, Dave, well said.

So where do the Tar Heels, who have their top 10 players back next season, go from here?

Three things have to change, or they will win three NCAA games at the most.

The talent level can improve with a solid summer of hard, dedicated work. Paige, Jackson and Berry can become even better three-point shooters. Britt has that chance as well. It would also help if the NCAA let us know that men’s basketball will escape sanctions and Kinston’s 6-8 Brandon Ingram can sign this spring with the school he’s loved forever (Warning: Duke is hovering and can offer Justise Winslow’s starting position when he declares for the NBA draft).

Tokoto has to somehow harness his amazing athleticism, prove he’s a better shooter before he takes open jumpers (As Dean Smith would say, “J.P. there’s a reason you’re open!”) and turn 25 seconds of dogged defense into close-outs that eliminate opponents scoring as the clock winds down.

And the foursome of Meeks, Johnson, Hicks and James needs some kind of boot camp with strength coach Jonas Sahratian, watching tape of big men going hard to the hole and finishing with ferocious rim-rattling dunks and then doing whatever it takes to get stronger, tougher and meaner.

In big-time college hoops, nice guys don’t necessarily finish last. But they DON’T finish first.

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UNC Refuses to Let Hurricanes Sweep Through Chapel Hill http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-refuses-to-let-hurricanes-sweep-through-chapel-hill/ http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-refuses-to-let-hurricanes-sweep-through-chapel-hill/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:15:21 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136702 If the UNC baseball team learned anything from its two heartbreaking losses to Miami on Friday and Saturday, it was that no lead can ever be called “safe” against top competition. Unless that lead is stretched to eight runs, which is where the #22 Tar Heels had it at one point in the series finale […]

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If the UNC baseball team learned anything from its two heartbreaking losses to Miami on Friday and Saturday, it was that no lead can ever be called “safe” against top competition.

Unless that lead is stretched to eight runs, which is where the #22 Tar Heels had it at one point in the series finale Sunday, using a dominant offensive output to defeat the #21 Hurricanes by a score of 10-3 inside the friendly walls of Boshamer Stadium.

By avoiding the sweep, Carolina raises their record to 16-11 overall and reaches the .500 mark in the ACC, at 6-6. Miami remains in sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division, but drops to 8-4 in league play (20-9 overall).

The scene in Sunday’s first inning seemed to be going the same as it went the day before–sunlight pouring down from the sky, UNC’s starting pitcher cruising, and the bases loaded for the Tar Heel batters with just a single out.

Senior Benton Moss continued the dominant run by Carolina’s starting pitching. (UNC Athletics)

This time, though, the boys in light blue would find a way to put some runs on the board.

“We were so close the last couple games,” Coach Fox says, “But we got off to a good start today, loaded the bases again in the first inning, and finally got more than one run, so that was huge for us. And having Benton on the mound, that was what we needed.”

A sacrifice fly from freshman Zack Gahagan and an RBI single from Tyler Ramirez, off Miami starter Enrique Sosa (3-3), put the Tar Heels ahead by two after a first inning where they banged out five hits.

After a perfect second inning on the mound from Benton Moss (4-0), the Carolina bats went right back to work in their half of the frame, tacking on two more runs in the same fashion. Juniors Skye Bolt and Landon Lassiter each had an RBI to give their head coach the type of lead he said the team should have built yesterday, when they had the same opportunity.

A throwing error by UNC shortstop Logan Warmoth allowed Miami’s Willie Abreu to reach first as the lead-off man in the third, giving the visiting team their first base-runner of the game. The play appeared to be costly, with the Hurricanes able to scrape across a pair of unearned runs against Moss to cut the lead in half.

However, the Tar Heel bats were not ready to cool down just yet.

First baseman Joe Dudek hit a sharp liner right down the third-base line to drive in two runs with two outs in the bottom of the third–ending the day on the mound for Enrique Sosa, and kicking off what would eventually turn into a huge five-run inning. Miami reliever Derik Beauprez came in and walked three batters in a row, including one to Landon Lassiter with the bases loaded, which set up Zack Gahagan, who drilled a two-run single to right-field, giving him his second and third RBI of the day.

“Joey Dudek and the big inning, with two outs, 1-2 [count], gets a double and starts that five run inning, I think that sealed the deal right there,” Benton Moss says about the game-changing moment.

The Tar Heel defense has been much improved since Eli Sutherland took over at second base. (UNC Athletics)

The Tar Heel defense has been much improved since Eli Sutherland took over at second base. (UNC Athletics)

Gahagan would later increase his RBI total to four with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, bringing UNC’s score into double digits.

“We were just locked in,” says Gahagan about the difference between today’s game and the previous two losses, with the freshman adding that “We really had a good amount of focus this weekend, but just couldn’t get some balls to fall early on in the series, but today obviously we locked in and got those runs in.”

Leaving the game after allowing a single to begin the Hurricane half of the seventh, Moss was done with another fantastic outing in this just his second start back from injury. All throughout, Moss never let the Hurricanes get comfortable at the plate. The senior from Enfield, North Carolina worked six strong innings, surrendering just one earned run on six hits, and also struck out four on 96 pitches.

Miami was able to scratch across another run against a combination of three Tar Heel relievers in the seventh–with a sacrifice fly by yesterday’s hero, Zack Collins, but ultimately the early Carolina surge would prove to be too much for the Hurricanes to come back from, as they couldn’t muster anything else the rest of the way.

One of only two seniors on UNC’s roster, Moss says he’s not discouraged by losing the series, pointing to the talent level on the team as a big reason why he feels this is a squad to be reckoned with in the coming weeks.

“We’ve got so much talent in the locker room, and I’m not afraid to say it,” says Moss, “I think we’ve had a chance to win every single series that we’ve played, and that’s no BS. I think that’s the truth. We’ve got all the guys in there, they just know they’re one swing of the bat away, or one error, or one pitch away, they’re right there.”

Up Next:

A week on the road awaits the Tar Heels, as they’ll travel to face Elon on Tuesday at 6:30 P.M., before heading to Clemson for their ACC weekend series.

Game Notes:

  • Benton Moss now has 290 strikeouts for his career, moving him into fourth on the UNC all-time list.
  • All five runs scored by UNC in the third inning came with two outs on the board.
  • Miami third baseman David Thompson extended his hitting streak to 18 games with his single in the seventh inning off reliever Trevor Kelley.
  • All-time, Miami leads the series with North Carolina with a 34-26-1 record against the Tar Heels after this weekend.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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UNC Drops Extra Inning Heartbreaker to Miami http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-drops-extra-inning-heartbreaker-to-miami/ http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/unc-drops-extra-inning-heartbreaker-to-miami/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:47:18 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136684 The ball is likely still stuck in orbit somewhere, floating, and maybe looking for a new home, after the hurt that had just been put on it. Miami designated hitter Zack Collins hit an absolute moonshot in the 11th inning off UNC reliever Spencer Trayner to lift his #21 Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory, and […]

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The ball is likely still stuck in orbit somewhere, floating, and maybe looking for a new home, after the hurt that had just been put on it.

Miami designated hitter Zack Collins hit an absolute moonshot in the 11th inning off UNC reliever Spencer Trayner to lift his #21 Hurricanes to a 4-3 victory, and the series win, over the #22 Tar Heels at Boshamer Stadium, in yet another gut-wrenching back-and-forth affair.

“It felt honestly like it was a close fight,” UNC starter JB Bukauskas says on the finish that saw each team trade runs in the ninth and tenth innings, “It just felt like it could go either way at any point. There’s no real emotion you could put on it, it was honestly just a hard fought game. And it was up and down, and up and down, but we were never giving up, not even in the last inning when we went down.”

Head Coach Mike Fox and his Carolina team fall to 15-11 overall, with a losing 5-6 record in the ACC, while Miami improves their Coastal Division leading conference mark to 8-3, with a 20-8 record in all games played.

On a chilly, but very sunny Saturday, the Tar Heels sent their super-freshman, Bukauskas, to the mound to face-off with the Hurricanes’ preseason All-American–redshirt junior Andy Suarez.

After a 1-2-3 top of the first inning for Bukauskas, the Carolina offense appeared as if they were ready to pounce on the right-hander early, loading the bases with just one out in their half of the first. Suarez wiggled out of the jam though, by striking out right-fielder Tyler Ramirez, and then getting Korey Dunbar to ground into a fielder’s choice.

Tyler Ramirez got down and dirty on Saturday, making a number of huge hustle plays. (UNC Athletics)

Tyler Ramirez got down and dirty on Saturday, making a number of huge hustle plays. (UNC Athletics)

As Bukauskas continued to mow through the Miami line-up in the second inning, UNC found themselves in a position to possibly break the game wide open.

Hits kept coming for the Tar Heels in their turn at-bat in the second, leading to another chance to tack on a few runs with the bases loaded and only one out. Center-fielder Skye Bolt drew a walk to score the first run of the game, but Suarez managed to escape yet again when he got freshman Logan Warmoth to ground into an inning-ending double play.

“That’s probably where we lost the game. I mean, really,” says Coach Fox, “Cause we’ve got a chance right out of the gate to extend the lead, and we got [Suarez] in trouble and he wasn’t very good today. He didn’t have his good command like he normally does, and we didn’t make him pay. That kept them in the game, while JB’s lights out again for us, just like he’s been in every conference start.”

Struggling with command through his first three innings, Suarez was pulled from the game by Miami Head Coach Jim Morris before the fourth, replaced by senior reliever Daniel Briggi after throwing just 60 pitches and allowing one run on four hits–but he also walked four Tar Heels as well.

Briggi handled the Tar Heels with ease over the next three innings, allowing no runs and just two hits during his stint on the mound.

Still 1-0 in favor of UNC at the beginning of the fifth, Bukauskas continued to show that he was in complete control. The Hurricanes were sat down in order again, still looking for a run and with only one hit to show for their efforts.

Miami finally got their elusive second hit in the top of the seventh off the bat of star third baseman David Thompson, who singled and then advanced to second base on a balk by Bukauskas. Next came a walk to Zack Collins and a sacrifice bunt to give the Hurricanes runners on second and third with one out–their first real offensive threat of the game.

Designated hitter Garrett Kennedy tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. (UNC Athletics)

Designated hitter Garrett Kennedy tied the game with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. (Miami Herald)

A ground-out to first base by right-fielder Willie Abreu ended the inning, but not before a sacrifice fly from Garrett Kennedy tied the game and erased the zero in Miami’s score column.

It would also end the day for JB Bukauskas, as Coach Fox turned to senior Trevor Kelley to complete the eighth inning. The freshman threw 86 pitches for the day, going seven innings, while giving up just the one run and two hits, to pair with three strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Kelley struck out the first two Hurricanes he faced upon entering the game, and then got left-fielder Carl Chester to groundout to complete a three-up, three-down performance leading into the Tar Heel half of the eighth.

Kelley came back on for the ninth after the Tar Heels went scoreless in the eighth, and immediately allowed a lead-off single to center-fielder Ricky Eusebio to start the frame. Then things started to get wild, as Kelley gave up the lead on a first pitch RBI single by shortstop George Iskenderian.

With one final chance to pull even and the crowd on their feet, freshman first baseman Zack Gahagan singled home Brian Miller with two outs to keep the Tar Heels’ hopes alive.

Zack Gahagan tied the game up with his RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. (UNC Athletics)

Zack Gahagan tied the game up with his RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. (UNC Athletics)

In the tenth, trouble found Trent Thornton for the second consecutive game, when he allowed Miami’s Jacob Heyward to reach third base with just one out in the inning after a wild pitch (his second in as many days). Not taking any chances, Coach Fox turned to lefty Zach Rice out of the bullpen to try and escape the jam.

Unfortunately, Johnny Ruiz hit a deep fly ball to score Heyward on a sacrifice fly, putting the game back under Miami’s control.

Just like in seemingly every other inning during the game, the Tar Heels threatened in the bottom of the tenth, putting runners on first and third with one out against Hurricanes’ closer Bryan Garcia. Garcia then allowed Landon Lassiter his fourth hit of the ball-game, which drove home Michael Massardo to tie the contest.

Small-ball may have helped the teams trade runs at the end, but ultimately it was the big-ball, the solo shot from Zack Collins, that allowed Miami to finally put the icing on the cake.

Side-winding reliever Cooper Hammond came in for Garcia to try and keep the Tar Heels off of the board in the 11th, and after letting the first two men he faced reach first and second, Hammond settled down to strike out the next two batters, earning some questionable strike calls in the process–before getting Adam Pate to pop out and end the game.

Despite the great starting pitching effort from Bukauskas, Coach Fox says that by leaving 16 men on base, the Tar Heels didn’t fulfill every phase of the game, a necessity against top competition.

“All the phases of the game have to all work together if you’re gonna beat good teams in our league,” Coach Fox says, “Every phase of the game has to be at a high level and it just hasn’t been. We’ve just been missing that key piece, and today it was not being good with runners in scoring position.”

“We should have won today,” adds Fox.

Up Next:

The series finale will have a bit of an early start on Sunday, with first pitch set to take place at noon. The pitching match-up will see UNC senior Benton Moss (3-0, 2.08 ERA) take on Miami right-hander Enrique Sosa (3-2, 3.62 ERA).

Game Notes:

  • In the previous five games for UNC, entering Saturday, Tar Heel starting pitchers put together an ERA just under 2.04 while averaging six innings per start.
  • Defense has been improving as well for Carolina with just two errors over their past six games (including Saturday).
  • Miami’s Jacob Heyward is the brother of St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder Jason Heyward.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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Local Student Wins Fire Escape Design Contest http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/local-student-wins-fire-escape-design-contest/ http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/local-student-wins-fire-escape-design-contest/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:50:32 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136686 12-year-old Kristin Lewis won both first and second place.

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Congratulations to Kristin Lewis, a 12-year-old Chapel Hill student who just won first and second place in a “Fire Escape Plan” competition sponsored by the American Red Cross and Project Paradigm. The contest invited students to devise a fire escape plan for their families – part of a larger project to challenge students to develop ideas to reduce injuries and fatalities related to house fires.

Kristin won a total of $1,500 for her designs. To learn more about the program, visit TheParadigmChallenge.org.

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March 28, 2015 http://chapelboro.com/wchl/lifestyle-weekly/art-spot/march-28-2015-8/ http://chapelboro.com/wchl/lifestyle-weekly/art-spot/march-28-2015-8/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:11:26 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136668 Phaedra Kelly talks with Trev Wignall who is playing at the Arts Center April 2nd, 2015 to give us a taste of what he will be playing.

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Phaedra Kelly talks with Trev Wignall who is playing at the Arts Center April 2nd, 2015 to give us a taste of what he will be playing.

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http://chapelboro.com/wchl/lifestyle-weekly/art-spot/march-28-2015-8/feed/ 0 Phaedra Kelly talks with Trev Wignall who is playing at the Arts Center April 2nd, 2015 to give us a taste of what he will be playing. Phaedra Kelly talks with Trev Wignall who is playing at the Arts Center April 2nd, 2015 to give us a taste of what he will be playing. Chapelboro.com no 20:00
From Sweet to Beat: UNC WBB Season Ends http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/from-sweet-to-beat-unc-wbb-season-ends/ http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/from-sweet-to-beat-unc-wbb-season-ends/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 05:17:40 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136681 North Carolina women’s basketball finished the season with a heartbreaking 67-65 loss to South Carolina.

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Hall of Fame head coach Sylvia Hatchell’s first season post-cancer recovery has come to an end. In the final battle of the 2014-2015 campaign, North Carolina women’s basketball finished the season with a heartbreaking 67-65 loss to South Carolina. The Tar Heels have finished this season in the NCAA tournament round of 16 with an impressive 26-9 record.

Greensboro Coliseum was a sea of maroon and Carolina blue on Friday night as fans from both sides of the border gathered to watch the Battle of the Carolinas.

For the majority of the first half, UNC managed to dominate inside, despite South Carolina’s clear height advantage. That’s nothing Carolina big man Stephanie Mavunga hasn’t dealt with before. Until she was triple teamed by the USC front court; she went on a 6-0 run by herself. Mavunga finished the year with 15 double-doubles and the night with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

“I think we’ve played so much more physical teams,” Mavunga said. “I think the refs kind of let us play a lot and we both played hard but I wouldn’t say it’s the most physical (this year). We had some battles with Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, Miami – a bunch of people that I think are tougher than they are. But I think we did a good job of handling it.”

The chance to advance made for an all-out war. Neither team held a lead for longer than a few seconds, and just when North Carolina thought they could pull away after the final media timeout, the Gamecocks kept fighting.

UNC was up 63-60 at the one-minute mark. A lucky three-pointer from the corner by senior Olivia Gaines tied the game and cost Mavunga her final foul. After sending South Carolina to the free throw line for two, sophomore Jessica Washington tied the game at 65 with a lay-up. That would be UNC’s final bucket.

SEC Player of the Year Tiffany Mitchell drove down the baseline for a wide open lay-up to put USC on top. Coach Hatchell tried to substitute in Jamie Cherry with 3.5 seconds left for her famous last second attempt at a buzzer beater, but for the first – and last time this season – it missed its mark.

“The competition we had in our conference this year, prepared us so well for this game. Because almost every game in our conference is like this,” Coach Hatchell said. “Hopefully the ACC will earn some respect. To me, we didn’t play that much better, we’ve been playing like this all year. We’ve got some doggone good teams in our league.”

On her final night in a North Carolina uniform, Latifah Coleman made her presence known. The senior guard posted 15 points for UNC to reach double figures for the 11th time this season and the 20th time in her career. Right behind her on the scoreboard for North Carolina was Allisha Gray with 12.

Danielle Butts finished her collegiate career with 8 points and Brittany Rountree ended her senior campaign with 3 points.

Gamecocks Mitchell and sophomore Alaina Coates were both the scoring leaders with 18 apiece and junior Tina Roy with 12 on 4-8 three-point shooting.

South Carolina advances to play Florida State Sunday in Greensboro for the chance to claim the regional title.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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Ninth Inning Collapse Dooms UNC Against Miami http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/ninth-inning-collapse-dooms-unc-against-miami/ http://chapelboro.com/sports/unc-sports/ninth-inning-collapse-dooms-unc-against-miami/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:16:32 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136674 Under the lights at Boshamer Stadium on Friday, UNC had the game wrapped up, until Miami second baseman Johnny Ruiz hit a late RBI single off of Carolina closer Trent Thornton to complete a wild ninth inning rally, leading the #21 Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the #22 Tar Heels in the first game of their top 25 […]

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Under the lights at Boshamer Stadium on Friday, UNC had the game wrapped up, until Miami second baseman Johnny Ruiz hit a late RBI single off of Carolina closer Trent Thornton to complete a wild ninth inning rally, leading the #21 Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the #22 Tar Heels in the first game of their top 25 ACC showdown.

The Hurricanes hold on to their lead atop the ACC Coastal Division standings, improving their record to 7-3 in conference play and 18-8 overall. For the Tar Heels, they drop to 5-5 in the ACC and 15-10 overall.

Ruiz’s single came after right-fielder Willie Abreu drove in two runs to tie a game that Carolina led 3-1 entering the final inning.

“We got a 3-1 pitch to Ruiz right there [in the ninth] with a base open,” UNC Head Coach Mike Fox says about the game’s defining play, “And we don’t make the right pitch, and they executed.”

Although this game’s start was delayed by about 45 minutes due to rain, Miami center-fielder Ricky Eusebio wasted no time waking the crowd up. Just the second batter of the game, the junior from Homestead, Florida ripped a 1-2 pitch from Carolina starter Zac Gallen over the left-field wall for a solo shot to strike first blood for the Hurricanes.

Pitching took over the game after the big blast, however, as Gallen settled into his comfort zone, and Miami lefty Thomas Woodrey came out dealing his best stuff right from the jump.

Zac Gallen was lights out after giving up a home run in the first inning. (UNC Athletics)

Zac Gallen was lights out after giving up a home run in the first inning. (UNC Athletics)

After Hurricanes’ third baseman David Thompson doubled to lead-off the second inning, Gallen walked catcher Garrett Kennedy, and then promptly turned into a lean, mean, pitching machine–retiring the next 16 batters he faced, including seven strikeouts during the streak. It lasted from the second with no outs until the seventh inning with one out, when Thompson singled for his second hit of the night.

For the game, Gallen would finish with seven strong innings of work, giving up just one run, four hits, and striking out eight Hurricanes on  104 pitches in total.

Woodrey allowed a single to UNC freshman shortstop Logan Warmoth in the bottom of the second, but was otherwise perfect through the first four frames, giving up no other hits and maintaining the zero in the UNC run column.

Not until the fifth inning did the Tar Heels seriously threaten the sophomore. Right-fielder Tyler Ramirez drove a ball down the line in right for his third triple of the season, with only one out on the board to set the table, but unfortunately a pair of ground-outs by Korey Dunbar and Eli Sutherland put a quick halt to the scoring opportunity, preserving the shutout for Woodrey.

Dueling with Gallen all night long, Miami lefty Thomas Woodrey was equally spectacular. (Miami Herald)

Dueling with Gallen all night long, Miami lefty Thomas Woodrey was equally spectacular. (Miami Herald)

Fireworks ensued in the Carolina half of the seventh, though, with Woodrey still on the mound. Ramirez got a chance at redemption with one out in the frame, driving home Zack Gahagan from third with a deep groundout to the middle of the field to tie the affair, setting up the catcher, Dunbar, the hottest hitter in the Tar Heel lineup.

The 1-1 offering from Woodrey was drilled to right center-field for the two-run homer that looked like it might have put UNC ahead for good, on what was Dunbar’s third home run in his last five games.

For Zac Gallen, this play held up his beliefs about his team’s offense, as he explained why he never worried, despite being in the midst of quite a duel.

“I have a lot of faith in our hitters,” Gallen says, “We have some good approaches, guys come up with big hits, I mean Korey [Dunbar], the dude has been clutch lately. So I just tried to keep us in it, I knew we were gonna scratch a couple across just cause we’ve been pretty resilient.”

Dunbar’s homer would also spell the end of the road for the left-hander, after 6.2 workmanlike innings where he pitched mostly to contact. All in all, Woodrey finished with three runs given up on just three hits, but only struck out two in the process.

On to replace Gallen in the top of the eighth was senior Trevor Kelley, the NCAA leader in relief appearances in 2015, with this being his 17th in just 25 games so far. Despite giving up one hit in the inning, the man with the microscopic 1.69 ERA retired the Miami hitters without any real danger, setting up junior closer Trent Thornton with a prime opportunity to clinch his fifth save of the season.

Thornton, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, ended up finding himself in a huge jam trying to shut the door in the ninth.

With runners on second and third and only one out in the inning, Willie Abreu, the Miami right-fielder hit a two-run single to tie the game up, and quiet the Tar Heel crowd, before Johnny Ruiz’s RBI single, which would ultimately end up as the game-winner when UNC failed to score on Miami closer Bryan Garcia.

“It’s frustrating,” Dunbar says about losing the lead late, “but that’s the great thing about baseball is that we’ve got another game tomorrow, and another game to follow that, so it’s disappointing, but we’ve gotta turn it around and play a game tomorrow.”

Up Next:

Saturday will be the second game of the series between the teams and is scheduled to begin at 3 P.M. UNC freshman JB Bukauskas will be on the mound opposite Miami’s preseason All-American left-hander Andy Suarez. The game will be broadcast live on WCHL and shown on ESPN3.

Game Notes:

  • The two coaches, Mike Fox (UNC) and Jim Morris (Miami) entered the game having combined for an astounding 2,736 wins over the course of their careers. (Fox-1,283 in 32 seasons, Morris-1,453 in 34 seasons)
  • Miami junior third baseman David Thompson is the recipient of back-to-back ACC Player of the Week honors. He went 2-4 with a double on Friday.
  • Korey Dunbar’s home run in the seventh extended his hitting streak to six games. He has an extra base hit in all six of those.

FINAL BOX SCORE

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Concussion Expert: No Concussion Epidemic, but Still More to Learn http://chapelboro.com/news/health/concussion-expert-no-concussion-epidemic-but-still-more-to-learn/ http://chapelboro.com/news/health/concussion-expert-no-concussion-epidemic-but-still-more-to-learn/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:36:09 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136659 Kevin Guskiewicz is one of the leading concussion experts in the world, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, and Co-Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at UNC. Guskiewicz tells WCHL’s Blake Hodge the latest information on Ryan Hoffman, what work is done at […]

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Kevin Guskiewicz is one of the leading concussion experts in the world, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, and Co-Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at UNC. Guskiewicz tells WCHL’s Blake Hodge the latest information on Ryan Hoffman, what work is done at UNC with former athletes, and how research is changing the landscape of sports.

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CHCCS Takes a Pass on Proposed Obey Creek School Site http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-takes-a-pass-on-proposed-obey-creek-school-site/ http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-takes-a-pass-on-proposed-obey-creek-school-site/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:51:50 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136651 CHCCS is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a proposed Obey Creek school site.

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The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system is saying “thanks, but no thanks” to a proposed school site offered by Obey Creek developers.

The proposed Obey Creek site was marked as a potential school location several years ago on Chapel Hill’s land use plan.

Todd LoFrese, assistant superintendent for support services at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, noted that in April 2014, the Board of Education approved a resolution for the Town Council to recognize that potential site, and to include that as party of negotiations with developers.

Later, the Council asked CHCCS if the school site offered by developers should be reserved.

The Board of Education has now come to a decision regarding Obey Creek.

“At a recent board meeting, the board passed a resolution thanking the Town Council for honoring that process,” said LoFrese. “The next was to communicate that we weren’t in reserving a school site. There are some challenges with the proposed area that was offered to the district as a school site.”

One of those development challenges, said LoFrese, is that the school would be difficult to access.

“There’d be an extensive bridge that would need to be constructed to cross over the creek,” said LoFrese.

In the final part of the resolution, the Board of Educations expressed that the Chapel Hill- Carrboro school system has other facility needs to address.

“We would be open to looking at other potential locations for where a school could be built,” said LoFrese. “We didn’t specify that it would be in the area that is currently proposed for development by Obey Creek. And the board also communicated that we have 10 older school facilities that have a lot of financial need.”

LoFrese said that it’s too early to estimate the impact the development will have on the school system, without a hard number of residential units to consider.

Right now, however, there are some spot-crowding problems that could be fixed, he said.

“Smith Middle School rises to the top of the list in my mind,” said LoFrese. “We had to close the school this year to new enrollment, even if you lived in the Smith zone. So we have some families who are being transported to either McDougle or Phillips, or Culbreth.”

LoFrese said there is still some breathing room at the elementary and high school levels. The next projected need for a middle school is in 2023.

In the meantime, said LoFrese, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro system would like to expand older schools, while performing long-needed renovations.

That, he said, would further put off the need for new schools. He added that it could also create the equivalent of an entire new elementary school.

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March 27, 2015 http://chapelboro.com/wchl/weekday/march-27-2015-5/ http://chapelboro.com/wchl/weekday/march-27-2015-5/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:49:49 +0000 http://chapelboro.com/?p=136652 WCHL Morning Show Hour 1: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%201_032715.mp3 WCHL Morning Show Hour 2: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%202_032715.mp3 WCHL Morning Show Hour 3:

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WCHL Morning Show Hour 1:

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http://chapelboro.com/wchl/weekday/march-27-2015-5/feed/ 0 WCHL Morning Show Hour 1: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%201_032715.mp3 WCHL Morning Show Hour 2: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%202_032715. WCHL Morning Show Hour 1: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%201_032715.mp3 WCHL Morning Show Hour 2: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/03/27/WCHL%20MORNING%20NEWS%20HOUR%202_032715.mp3 WCHL Morning Show Hour 3: Chapelboro.com no 55:17