Cane fans, are we used to this kind of dominance? Has it ever been this easy? We're usually on pins and needles involved in a one run battle that could go either way. This game was over by the third inning. Although young, the Stanford Cardinal has a tradition. They played on Championship Saturday last season. In some ways they are Miami's West Coast mirror image -- the small private university with a strong baseball tradition and few National Championships to boast. But that's about where one has to draw the line in the comparison game. When it comes to confidence and heart, the Cardinal can't shine the Canes shoes. Miami hit on all cylinders today and will steamroll through the next six outs. They taste that Cardinal blood. The Canes are setting up for the kill.
A little tight in the first two innings, Miami third inning explosion ripped the Cardinal heart out. The boys from Palo Alto didn't have the grit to mount a comeback. Overcoming an 8-0 deficit against Tulane in the opening game last Friday was a walk in the park. Night and day from a Championship Saturday battle against and adversity tested bunch of Canes looking so fresh and so clean in those bright white unis. Miami will not fold, will not buckle under pressure and will not go away. What will they do? Make the most of every opportunity, make you pay for your mistakes and put their cleat on your throat to take away your last breath when a title is on the line.
Update -- Eighth inning, still 11-1, the Cardinal is officially on life support. Did I mention that this is too easy? Batters are leaning in and taking pitches to attempt to get on base. Too little too late. Just received word that All Sports will have National Championship shirts within the hour. I'll take a Large, please.
After the LSU heartbreak in 1996, a down to the wire win against the Noles in 1999 and falling short last season - Miami players and fans deserved a day like today. Domination from the get go and cruise control ever since. Too see Stanford lost and dejected so early in the game, was gorgeous. Bobbling routine fielding plays, mental errors inning after inning and poor pitching are what did in the Cardinal.
A few thoughts running through my head as the Canes are an inning closer to winning it all...
How money is Kevin Brown when everything is on the line? Whether at home in the regionals or on the road on Championship Saturday, this kid delivers when it counts. Does anyone even remember his late season slump? I didn't think so.
Update II - Another Stanford fielding error. Scoreboard reads a dozen to one, in the Canes favor. Can we officially say that the wheels have fallen off? If you know any Cardinal die hards, now is the time to call and get in their ear because we're three outs away from that fourth ring. Commentator Ray Knight is still making excuses and defending Stanford's lackluster play, too. Hey Ray, tell it like it is - the Cardinal didn't show up today. They folded. Every time they needed a big play, they couldn't buy one. Today is for all the marbles. A championship has been a goal since last season ended. No excuses. Get it done. Find a way. Miami did. Steal a play from our page book next year Stanford. Hollywood couldn't have scripted our past 17 games any better.
It's official - Prendes closed it out. National Champions. Am I dreaming? Stanford couldn't even fake a rally in the ninth. How did they only get charged with two errors? Who cares! Two rings in three years and four titles to our name. Thank you Jim Morris - another storybook ending. You are establishing yourself as a Miami legend. To the 2001 squad, it was yours for the taking and you never missed a beat. There would be no letdown. You are a truly special bunch. Enjoy this moment.