CWS, Day 7: The Streaker and Grand Slam Streaks are Broken, so is LSU'S Dreams.

The long lost streaker has returned.

It's been since the championship game of 1974 that the CWS has seen a streaker interrupt a game during the College World Series. But it happened tonight. Right before Matt Clark's at-bat in the 8th inning, with two men on, the mad naked dasher jumped out of the outfield bleachers and made his pose in short center field, much to the crowd's snickers and squeals. He was soon pummeled by a security man and closely apprehended by the police. But while it lasted, it brought back many memories of another streaker, along with much laughter from the record-setting crowd.

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(The streaker from tonight's game pauses in center field to strike "The Thinker" pose)

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(He then gets pummeled by stadium security and taken down to the ground Brian Urlacher-style)

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(The hippy guy with the small willy is then led away by stadium police and sent directly to the sex offenders file)

A few minutes after that whole streaker episode transpired, a pair of 9th inning intentional walks to Dustin Ackley and Tim Fedroff set the stage for junior hero-man Tim Federowicz to pump out a game-winning grand slam that iced things. The place went crazy and the LSU fans, for the first time all weekend, fell silent. That death-knell sounded the end of LSU's magical season.

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LAST TIME A STREAKER INTERRUPTED THE CWS---
1974 championship game.
I was there with my dad. USC would win the game by a 7-3 count over Miami. But what I would remember most from that game was the streaker that ran right in front of us on the mid-stadium walkway and down through the ballgirls hovel down behind home plate and onto the field.

With two outs in the 9th inning, the streaker burst out onto the field and went up to home plate. He was carrying one of those over-sized novelty pink plastic baseball bats and went up to the batter's box faking some practice swings. Then, after playing like he belted an imaginary ball, the naked Casey-at-the-bat ran down the third base line (since security cops were running down the 1st base line toward him), he rounded third and started toward second. Once there, he kept running straight toward the right field corner. Once there, he hopped the fence with the cops in pursuit.

Rumor had it that the guy got away, but my brother was apparently friends with the streakers' younger brother and according to him, he got caught by the police and taken downtown. Nothing serious, he was fined and released. That's how things were in those days. According to some people I talked to in the press box tonight, nowadays, any streaker is automatically given "sex offender" status. Yikes.

Now, back to tonight's elimination game...


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Conditions at game time:
84 degrees, 39% humidity, sunny with threatening skies all around.

(And just in case you're wondering, it was completely sunny, with an occasional high, fluffy cloud passing by at 1pm, the other suggested re-start time for this game.)

UNC - 200 010 004 - 7 9 2
LSU - 010 002 000 - 3 4 0

WP: Alex White (12-3)
LP: Louis Coleman (8-1)
Save: None

Top Hitters:
LSU-
Matt Clark: 1-for-2, 2RBI, HR, 2BBs

UNC-
Dustin Ackley: 4-for-4
Tim Federowicz: 1-for-4, 5RBI, HR (as if you didn't know this part already)

CWS08-FedexInterview.jpg
(Game 10 hero Tim Federowicz is interviewed by fellow CBS College Sports colleague Doug Kroll and filmed by Going Yard honk Jason Kerepesi, who I am extremely jealous of because of his impressive hair.)

- Key play:
Well, no suprise here, it's Tim Federowicz's grand salami in the top of the 9th inning. Most importantly, it crushed the mental hopes of the Tigers in the bottom of the inning, who are used to making big comebacks, but not on the heels of a grand slam. Ole Mo' was wearing Carolina blue and there was no miracle finish for the Bayou Bashers here. Just too much to overcome.

- Best personnel move:
Bringing in Jared Bradford to re-start the game.
Carolina got a head start in this game with yesterday's 2-0 lead and bases loaded, one-out scenario when the skies broke open like a WWE cut to the forehead. But when play resumed, Jared Bradford came on to replace Blake Martin and threw just two pitches, inducing Garrett Gore into a 5-4-3 double play and got out of the jam.

- Worst decision:
In the 6th inning and his team clinging to a 3-1 lead, Carolina's Brian Moran had LSU slugger Matt Clark swinging out of his shoes on two straight off-speed pitches. But with a 2-2 count, the Heel reliever decided to feed the nation's home run leader a low fastball and it was crushed like a pop can. Clark's stitched-ball ride tied the score at threes and pushed his home run total to 28.

CWS08-MattClarkHR.jpg
(Matt Clark hit his nation-leading 28th home run and is welcomed home by Micah Gibbs in the 6th inning of tonight's game. The dinger helped tie things up with eventual winner North Carolina)

- You knew Carolina was serious when...
They brought in All American Alex White in the 8th inning. This was just the third relief appearance on the year for the Friday night ace. He inherited a man-on-first situation with Blake Dean at the dish.

He got Dean to go down swinging, walked Gibbs, got interrupted by a streaker from the stands, walked Clark, got LeMahieu to pop out and forced Landry to ground out. I.e., the bases were loaded with one out for LSU and they got el zippo. Usually this team scores four or five at a minimum.


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OTHER NOTES---

- Two pitches.
When asked by ESPN's Ryan McGee why he decided to make the change to Jared Bradford to resume today's game, Coach Paul Mainieri responded with, "The guy they have at-bat (Garrett Gore) doesn't strike out much and with the bases loaded we needed a ground ball pitcher in there. So we went with Jared." Guess what happened two Bradford pitches into his stint? Ground ball that led to a double play.

- The last CWS grand slam.
After 280 bases-loaded situations had come and gone in CWS play, Tim Federowicz finally broke a seven-year string where there were no grand slams with his 9th inning bases-juiced yard call. The last time it happened? On June 11, 2001 by David Coffey of Georgia vs. Tennessee. According to ESPN researcher Jeremy Mills, the average number of batters to come through and hit a bases-loaded home run is usually once-every-45 times or so.

- The Lowe's Senior Achievement Award.
After suffering a crushing loss to LSU, Rice pitcher Cole St. Clair didn't like his Omaha experience very much. But he had to like the fact that he was presented with the Lowe's Senior Achievement Award on the field before the game today.

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(Rice's Cole St. Clair is under the media spotlight as he is presented with the Senior Achievement Award for his athletic and academic excellence this school year. I think he should get it for giving the greatest post-game press conference answer to a dumb question, when he told former Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Glenn Gilbeau that the Blake Dean game-winning double bounced off the wall so hard because, "It was a hard-hit ball. So... it's just physics." Beauty.)

- Rain delay inspiration.
During today's rain delay, the video board in right field showed highlights of LSU's 2000 national title game against Stanford, where they came back from a 5-2 deficit with three runs in the 8th and one run in the 9th to win the game.

They also showed 1993 CWS highlights, another LSU title team.

- All-time crowd?
You're kidding me, right? Well the "official attendance" total was 30,422, but there were a huge amount of open spaces in the stands for tonight's game. As official scorer Lou Spry said to the media, "This record needs some explanation."

It turns out that since this was a game played over two days, tickets used for reserved and general admission were counted for both.

It turns out that it was the second-highest attended game in college baseball history and the biggest since the 40,106 fans that showed up on March 11, 2004 at Petco Park in San Diego for a game between San Diego State and Houston. (Which was also Tony Gwynn Night at the park)

- Some post-game quotes:
LSU coach Paul Mainieri:
My most overwhelming emotion is that I hurt very badly for my kids. we left it all on the field and came up short. I guess we ran out of miracles. Right now it hurts. These kids really competed. I just hurt so bad for them right now.

On pitcher Jared Bradford:
Not only is Jared Bradford one of the greatest competitors I've ever met, he's one of the best people I've ever known. His influence is going to go far beyond the playing field.

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(Coach Paul Mainieri had high praise for senior hurler Jared Bradford in the post-game press conference tonight)

On the Carolina pitching:
I'd like to congratulate North Carolina on a great win. They deserve it. They were a little better than we are. I mean, I can't even remember the last time we only had four hits in a game. I thought their pitching was really outstanding and they really shut us down.

On giving up two intentional walks in the 9th to a pair of lefty hitters:
Right handed hitters are probably hitting under .100 against Louis Coleman this year. And the kid that hit it out (Federowicz), it was a great hit. You have to give him credit. But if I had to do the two intentional walks in the 9th 1000 times over again, I'd do the same thing every time.

On his players and the fans reaction to coming up short:
I've heard so many good things from the fans about these kids this season and I hope they appreciate the effort they gave. We had so many come-from-behind victories tonight.

Jared Bradford, on starting the re-start after just two days rest:
I thought that double play in the 1st inning really ignited a fire. I felt good. Coach really wanted me to go out and get a double play ball and then see how I felt from inning to inning. And then my shoulder started getting tired and that's just what happens when you thrown back-to-back games.


Coach Fox:
We were very fortunate to have beaten them twice in the tournament. Their two pitchers were really outstanding for them. But tonight you saw why we led the nation in ERA, we ran our five best guys out there. You also saw why we think Dustin Ackley is the best player in the country. He's amazing.

We've got a lot of heart, we hung in there and we finally hit a mistake. They didn't make many mistakes against us tonight, but Timmy got a good one on that one.
He's just kind of a big teddy bear. He's got an unbelievable temperment to play this game and to catch. I have him in the 4-hole for a reason. I'm happy for Tim, he's been a big leader for our program the last four years.

Tim Federowicz on his grand slam:
First of all it was a great feeling to go up with the bases loaded in the CWS. I knew he was going to bring his slider and I caught a bad one. I struggled a little bit early on but I was confident going up there with the bases loaded. It was a lot of fun.

More from Day 8 at Rosenblatt tomorrow.

G'night.

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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is CSTV.com's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert