Arizona State, North Carolina set for rematch

June, 18, 2009
OMAHA, Neb. -- It's another cooker here at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Temperatures are back in the 90s again today (Sun Devils weather?), and there's strong breeze, although it's a little more to dead center than to left field like it was Wednesday.

But that hasn't stopped the College World Series' most dedicated fans: the ones who lined up outside for general admission seats, raced through the gates as soon as they opened at 4 p.m. local time and then set up shop in the prime locations over left and right field to catch batting-practice home runs. As usual, it was a fruitful exercise, if you can stand the heat.

Tonight's game between North Carolina and Arizona State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN360) is a rematch of Sunday's Bracket Two opener, the Sun Devils won 5-2 in 10 innings. Unlike four days ago, tonight's loser goes home, joining Cal State Fullerton, Southern Miss and Virginia.

In a slightly surprising move, Arizona State coach Pat Murphy has decided to go with lefty Josh Spence as his starter. Spence got a no-decision against the Tar Heels on Sunday, but his array of offspeed offerings against a predominantly left-handed UNC lineup was successful for most of the night. He went seven innings, and surrendered one earned run on eight hits to go along with eight strikeouts and three walks.

The performance wasn't surprising, but the fact that Spence threw 122 pitches Sunday and is coming off three days' rest makes tonight's start somewhat unexpected. But there's no tomorrow without a win today.

At stake tonight is a berth in Friday's Bracket Two Championship against Texas (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2HD). A win tomorrow against the unbeaten Longhorns would force a winner-take-all game Saturday to advance to Monday's CWS Championship Series.

Here are the starting lineups for tonight's elimination game, the 10th game of the 2009 College World Series:

North Carolina (48-17)

24 Ryan Graepel SS
13 Dustin Ackley 1B
10 Kyle Seager 3B
4 Garrett Gore RF
8 Mark Fleury C
1 Levi Michael 2B
3 Ben Bunting LF
5 Jacob Stallings DH
11 Mike Cavasinni CF

43 Matt Harvey RHP (7-2, 5.35 ERA)

Arizona State (50-13)

37 Drew Maggi SS
28 Jason Kipnis CF
55 Carlos Ramirez C
49 Kole Calhoun LF
11 Matt Newman RF
23 Johnny Ruettiger DH
30 Riccio Torrez 1B
22 Jared McDonald 3B
2 Zack MacPhee 2B

45 Josh Spence LHP (9-1, 2.26 ERA)


HP: Perry Costello
1B: Joe Burleson
2B: Mark Chapman
3B: Chuck Lyon



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