in the semifinals.Chaminade again showed it can hang with the big boys, at least | Forum

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cx888 May 25
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kris Bryant tossed his glove high in the air, Jake Arrieta jumped over the dugout railing and the rest of the Chicago Cubs rushed to join the celebration. Real Wood Water Bottle .Pure revelry and a sigh of relief, all at once.World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs took another step in their championship chase Tuesday night by rallying for four runs in the ninth inning of Game 4 to beat San Francisco 6-5 and win their NL Division Series.You could see it coming. You could see little signs. Weve done it before and the guys, we dont quit, Cubs center fielder Dexter Fowler said. Its a little more special doing it here. They for sure were thinking that they won it. But we play 27 outs and we dont give up until we win.Javier Baezs tiebreaking single capped the comeback against a beleaguered bullpen that sabotaged the Giants one last time.Four wins from their first pennant since 1945, the Cubs will open the NL Championship Series at Wrigley Field on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Washington Nationals. That matchup is tied 2-all heading into the deciding Game 5 on Thursday.Before that, the team with the best regular-season record (103-58) in the majors this year will get a few days of rest. Chicago was swept by the New York Mets in the NLCS last year and is still seeking its first World Series title since 1908.Expectations is a good word. Because normally it means that you have something good attached to it at the other side, manager Joe Maddon said.And after finishing off the resilient Giants, the Cubs should have their rotation all lined up for the NLCS.Pressure, expectations -- I want our guys to thrive on those two words for the years to come. I want the organization to. In the end that means theres a lot expected of you. Good. There should be. We should all have a lot expected of us, Maddon added. So all those things I want to have us channel in a positive direction.Held to two hits over eight innings by Matt Moore, the Cubs trailed 5-2 heading to the ninth.No matter. One big rally ended San Franciscos 10-game winning streak when facing postseason elimination.Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras tied it with a two-run single with none out. Baez singled in the go-ahead run two batters later, and the Cubs capitalized on Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawfords second costly error and more untimely blunders by the Giants once-reliable relief staff.One day after getting tagged in the eighth inning, Aroldis Chapman closed this one out by striking out the side in order. When he set down Brandon Belt to end it, Chapmans teammates rushed to the mound to hug him and begin their celebration.Maddon has his confident, power-hitting Cubs on an October roll. They already beat All-Star Johnny Cueto and ex-Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, then waited until Moores stellar outing was done to pounce.With this team, the big thing is we never give up, we never quit, said lefty Jon Lester, who figures to start the NLCS opener. We always feel like we have a chance, whether its the first inning or the ninth inning.Soon-to-retire David Ross homered to start the third, hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and threw out Denard Span trying to steal.Downright unflappable for years in these pressure-packed situations, the Giants won World Series championships in 2010, 12 and 14. This was the clubs first postseason series defeat in the last 12.We dont think were going to win the World Series every even year. I mean, it took 50-something years to get one here, quipped manager Bruce Bochy, whose bullpen management was scrutinized throughout a disappointing second half.The orange towel-waving sellout crowd of 43,166, perhaps spoiled this decade by the every-other-year title success, had been counting on a few more games by the bay this October.Moore, acquired from Tampa Bay at the Aug. 1 trade deadline for games of this magnitude, struck out 10 as his former Rays manager -- Maddon -- watched from the other dugout.Long after Cubs starter John Lackeys night was done with just four innings, Hector Rondon pitched the eighth for the win.WHAT CURSE?Lester doesnt buy all the superstition surrounding Chicagos championship drought.Nobody really cares in there about a curse or a goat or anything else, he said. If we make a mistake, were not going to blame it on a curse or anything else like that. Were going to blame it on ourselves and be accountable for it and move on to the next play or the next moment. ... Weve got too many young guys in there that dont even know what that stuff is, you know what I mean? So, its almost better to play naive and just go out and worry about us, worry about the Cubs and not anything else in the past or, like I said, any animals.POWER PITCHERSTwo pitchers homered for the Cubs in the series: Arrieta on Monday and reliever Travis Wood in Game 2. The 1924 New York Giants were the only other team to have two pitchers go deep in a postseason series, according to ESPN Stats & Info.Thats pretty incredible, isnt it? Maddon said.GIANTS INJURIESLeft fielder Angel Pagan missed his second straight start with back spasms, and third baseman Eduardo Nunezs strained right hamstring is still slow to heal, leaving the Giants to contemplate replacing one on the roster. But no move was made before the game.CRAWFORDS MISCUESThe shortstop was the first Giants player to commit two errors in a postseason game since Don Mueller on Sept. 29, 1954, in Game 1 of the World Series. Swell Bottle Nz Liberty . Anthony Davis had 31 points and 17 rebounds in his seventh straight game with more than 20 points, but that was only enough to keep the Pelicans competitive into the final minutes. Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Golden State, which rebounded from a loss a night earlier in Oklahoma City and snapped a two-game skid. Swell Water Bottle Nz .Y. -- Leading 3-0 with only 11:25 left, the Colorado Avalanche committed a seemingly meaningless penalty to give the New York Islanders a power play. http://www.swellbottlesnz.com/ . Numbers Game examines the deal that sees Michael Del Zotto and Kevin Klein switch places. The Predators Get: D Michael Del Zotto. LAHAINA, Hawaii -- North Carolina had a hard time shaking pesky Chaminade early. Once the Tar Heels turned into a bully, they were able to run away from the Silverswords.Isaiah Hicks scored 22 points, Kennedy Meeks had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 4 North Carolina overpowered host Chaminade 104-61 Monday night in the Maui Invitational.Were just too big for them, Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said.North Carolina (5-0) needed a little time to gain some separation from the Division II Silverswords, doing so midway through the first half by pounding the ball inside.The Tar Heels outscored Chaminade 46-8 in the paint and had 26 second-chance points on 17 offensive rebounds to earn a spot in the semifinals against Oklahoma State on Tuesday.Tony Bradley added 14 points and North Carolina shot 57 percent from the floor. Meeks and Hicks, both seniors, scored 20 points in the same game for the first time.We knew they were going to compete, said Meeks, who hit all seven of his shots from the floor. I know through watching them through the years and seen them knock off teams in this tournament. We definitely took advantage of the things we should have, getting the ball inside and hitting shots.Chaminade (2-1) shot well early to hang with the Tar Heels, but had little chance once they picked up the defensive pressure and got the ball inside on offense. The Silverswords went 10 of 28 from 3-point range but were outrebounded 52-23.Rohndell Goodwin led Chaminade with 18 points, and Kiran Shastri added 13.It was pretty obvious to everybody that size and strength was the difference in this game, Chaminade coach Eric Bovaird said. They had (17) offensive rebounds and we had 23 total. It doesnt take a rocket scienttist to figure that out. Swell Bottle Black. Chaminade has a team filled with upperclassmen and has had a penchant for pulling off upsets. The Silverswords helped start the Maui Invitational with their shocker over top-ranked Virginia in 1982 and have knocked off big-name programs at this tournament through the years, most recently Texas in 2012.North Carolina was not a favorable matchup for them.The Tar Heels are long, athletic and considered national-title contenders even with forwards Luke Maye and Theo Pinson out with injuries.The Silverswords only shot at another upset would be to shoot the lights out. They did early, making 12 of their first 21 field goal attempts to stay within 28-24 midway through the first half.But then North Carolinas size inside began to wear Chaminade down.Behind the 6-foot-10 Meeks and the 6-9 Hicks, the Tar Heels started to stretch the lead. Meeks had 14 points by halftime, Hicks 13 and they combined to hit 11 of 13 shots to help North Carolina build a 50-34 advantage.The Tar Heels opened the second half with an 11-4 run and never looked back.We felt like we could play them with our guards, but what can you do with three 6-11 guys? Goodwin said. Its only so much we can do.BIG PICTUREAfter a slow start, the Tar Heels did what they were supposed to against an overmatched opponent. Theyll need a better start against Oklahoma States pressure defense in the semifinals.Chaminade again showed it can hang with the big boys, at least for stretches.UP NEXTNorth Carolina faces Oklahoma State in the semifinals on Tuesday.Chaminade meets UConn in the second round. ' ' ' 
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