Miami Advances With Win Over Gators in Regional

Miami's (33-27) late inning heroics got the best of the Florida baseball team today in the championship game of the NCAA Regional in Gainesville. Florida ends its season with a 46-19 record.

Florida took the early 1-0 lead on a Ryan Shealy lead off home run in the top of the second.

Miami pulled ahead with back-to-back solo homers by Kevin Mannix and Matt Dryer with two outs in the bottom of the second for a one run lead.

A Pat Osborn three-run homer in the top of the third gave Florida a 4-2 lead. Jake Riordan was hit by a Dan Touchet pitch. Mario Garza hit a single down the left field line with one out. Osborn hit his third home run of the regional for the two-run Florida lead.

A balk by relief pitcher Ben Hedgecock with a runner on third in the bottom of the third allowed Miami to narrow the Gator lead to just one run at 4-3.

Miami tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Designated hitter Brad Safchik led off with a base hit to left field. He advanced to second on the sacrifice bunt by Javy Rodriguez. Catcher Danny Matienzo was hit by a Hedgecock pitch. A Kevin Howard base hit through the right side scored Safchik for the 4-4 tie.

The Gators took the lead again in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Brian Rose hit a double into right center field. He advanced to third on the hard hit single to the pitcher by pinch hitter Jeff Corsaletti. Rose scored on a fielder's choice play at second. Corsaletti was thrown out at second and Mark Kiger was safe at first. After the run scored, Miami replaced starter Dan Touchet with J.D. Cockroft.

Miami tied the game once again in the bottom of the inning. Safchik led off the inning with a ground rule double. He advanced to third on a Rodriguez sacrifice and scored on a Mantienzo base hit for the 5-5 tie.

Jonathan Tucker led off the top of the ninth with an infield single. He advanced to second on a Rose sacrifice bunt and to third on a wild pitch. Matt Goss walked to put runners at the corners with only one out. Kiger was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Matt Maley reached first on an error by Miami secondbaseman Rodriguez and two runs scored for the 7-5 Florida lead, with only one out in the inning.

It came down to the bottom of the ninth for the second consecutive game. Paco Figueroa led off with a hard hit infield single and just beat out the throw at first. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a Safchik fly out to right field. Rodriguez reached on a single to left, putting runners on the corners with only one out. Jimmy Ramshaw came in to replace Hedgecock on the mound for Florida. A Matienzo sacrifice fly to left field scored Figueroa from third to narrow Florida's lead to 7-6. Kevin Howard hit a single to centerfield to put runners on first and second with two outs. Jim Burt, who hit the three run homer to tie the game in the ninth in the first game of the day was able to follow through with his heroics tonight. He hit a double deep into centerfield to score both base runners and give Miami the 8-7 win.

Florida's Jimmy Ramshaw took the loss. His record ends at 6-4 for the season. George Huguet pitched the last two outs for Miami for the win. His record improves to 7-4.

Miami advances to play South Carolina in the NCAA Super Regional in Columbia, S.C. next weekend. The winner of the best two-of-three series will advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Gainesville Regional All-Tournament Team
Catcher - Danny Matienzo, Miami
First base - Ryan Shealy, Florida
Second base - Javy Rodriguez, Miami
Shortstop - Mark Kiger, Florida
Third base - Pat Osborn, Florida
Outfield - Aaron Sobieraj, Florida
Outfield - Alberton Meran, Bethune-Cookman
Outfield - Jim Burt, Miami
Designated hitter - Brad Safchik, Miami
Pitcher - Keith Ramsey, Florida
Pitcher - Kiki Bengochea, Miami
Utility - Kevin Howard, Miami

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