North Carolina Eliminates Kansas Baseball from NCAA Tournament

May 31, 2009

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North Carolina third baseman Garrett Gore hit a pair of home runs, including a grand slam as part of a seven-run third inning as the fourth-ranked Tar Heels eliminated Kansas from the NCAA Tournament with a 12-1 victory Sunday at Boshamer Stadium.

The Jayhawks complete the season with a 39-24 overall record after knocking off Coastal Carolina earlier in the day. UNC moves to 45-16 overall and advances to the NCAA Super Regionals where it will meet the champion of the Greenville Region.

After going quietly in the first two innings against Kansas starter Travis Blankenship, North Carolina scored seven times in the third inning and coasted to its third victory of the weekend.

The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Gore, who greeted relief pitcher Brett Bollman with a grand slam over the center field fence to cap the Tar Heel rally in the third.

Two innings later, Gore struck again with a blast off the scoreboard in left field to extend the lead to 8-0.

Kansas never seriously threatened the lead as the Jayhawks did not get a runner as far as third base until Robby Price tripled off the center field fence with one out in the sixth inning.

Tony Thompson, who extended his hitting streak to 20 games, provided the only offense for KU with a solo home run to right field in the ninth. Thompson ends his season as the Big 12 leader in all three Triple Crown categories with a .389 batting average, 21 homers and 82 RBIs.

UNC starting pitcher Adam Warren went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just five hits and no walks. He also struck out eight.

KU could muster just six hits in the game, with Price’s triple being the lone hit for extra bases.

Sophomore Tony Thompson collected a single in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. Thompson’s streak is the second in his career of at least 20 games.

Kansas was well-decorated on the All-Chapel Hill Region Team, which was announced following the game. KU’s Shaeffer Hall, Tony Thompson, David Narodowski, Brian Heere and Zac Elgie were all members of the 11-member all-regional team.