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SUPER REGIONAL PREVIEW: COASTAL CAROLINA VS NORTH CAROLINA
June 3, 2008

SCS.comThe North Carolina Tar Heels are getting used to playing on the second weekend as they have advanced to a Super Regional for a third straight season. On the other side of the ledger, Coastal Carolina is making its first ever trip to the Super Regional round. Both teams are coming off three game sweeps in the regional round and have 12 losses on the season. This will be a pretty tough challenge for the #2 overall seed Tar Heels as they seek to get back to Omaha for the third year in a row. USA Stadium in Cary will be packed for this Super Regional.

COASTAL CAROLINA AT NORTH CAROLINA

THE MATCHUP

North Carolina (49-12) defeated Mount St. Mary's (16-8) and UNC-Wilmington twice (5-1, 5-1) to win last weekend's Cary Regional. Coastal Carolina (50-12) defeated Columbia (10-2), Alabama (13-10), and East Carolina (24-11) to take home the Conway Regional title over the weekend. Both teams were not really challenged during regional play and will come into the Super Regional with an abundance of confidence. Home field advantage seemed to help out last weekend but could play more of a factor in this round of the tournament; however, the Chanticleers have not rolled over on the road.

THE VENUE

The Tar Heels and Chanticleers will close out the single season use of USA Stadium in Cary, NC this weekend. North Carolina will move into their new stadium next season and Cary has been a gracious host. Cary is the home of USA Baseball and has welcomed the chance to house college baseball this season.

BREAKING IT DOWN

Starting Pitching
The Tar Heels have pitched extremely well as they have a 2.79 team ERA and have struck out 624 batters in 552 innings. They have allowed 230 runs (171 earned) and only given up 21 long balls. The Chanticleers have a 4.10 team ERA, 434 strikeouts in 559 2/3 innings. They have given up 62 long balls and allowed 292 runs (255 earned) on the season. The Tar Heels are led by Alex White's 9-3 record and 2.66 ERA in 13 starts, while the Chanticleers are led by Nick McCully's 3.09 ERA and 10-2 record in 13 starts.
Advantage: North Carolina
Hitting
The Tar Heels have hit the ball all over the ball park this season. They have only hit 55 homeruns but have scored 468 runs with a .324 team average. Dustin Ackley's .405 average and 18 stolen bases leads the team and sets the table for the rest of the lineup. The Chanticleers have a team average of .326 with 96 homeruns and 516 runs on the season. They are led by Scott Woodward's .368 average and 42 stolen bases while David Sappelt has blasted 18 dingers.
Advantage: Coastal Carolina but not by much
Out of the Pen
The Tar Heels only have 10 saves on the season but that is because they have not been in too many close ball games. They are led by Rob Wooten's 6-2 record, 4 saves, and 1.93 ERA. Brian Moran and Nate Striz each have two saves. Coastal Carolina has 18 saves on the season. Pete Andrelczyk has half of them (9) and has an inflated ERA of 3.40; however, he has only allowed 17 earned runs in 45 innings.
Advantage: North Carolina
Coaching
North Carolina head coach Mike Fox has directed numerous Tar Heel ball clubs to the Super Regionals and this year has been no exception. In his 10th season in Chapel Hill, Fox has lead this group of seniors to their 200th victory in picking up the regional title on Sunday. Coastal Carolina head coach Gary Gilmore is in his 13th season and has never been to a Super Regional until this season. Gilmore has had success with nine 40+ win seasons but the butterflies may be out this weekend in Cary.
Advantage: North Carolina
Intangibles
The Tar Heels have been through these wars before and this weekend could just add another chapter in a nice scrapbook for the senior class. Coastal Carolina has never made it this far; therefore, they might feel a little pressure. They have nothing to lose and can put some of the pressure back on the #2 overall seed Tar Heels by putting up some runs early.
Advantage: North Carolina

FINAL THOUGHTS

It is very well documented that North Carolina has the experience and want to get back to Omaha again to avenge their two-time runner-up status. They will have to be on their toes as the Chanticleers will be playing with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Both coaches do not want to let their alma maters down this weekend in Cary. Signs point to each team letting it all hang out and leave everything out between the lines.
North Carolina has been dominate at home this season with only five losses in Cary all season; however, one of those losses were against the Chanticleers, 11-4, back on March 11th. That game might be in the back of both team's minds; however, after the first pitch on Saturday, neither team will remember it too much.

PREDICTION TIME

Eddie Jason Jimmy Jonathan
Coastal Carolina North Carolina North Carolina North Carolina

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