Coral Gables Regional Recap - Day 3

Miami defeated Florida to advance to the super regionals next week against North Carolina State. Florida won the first game which forced a final game rematch. Last year Miami won two games against Florida in Gainesville. The roles were reversed this season as Miami played host to Florida in the championship game and unlike last season, the host team won the regional.

Pitching played a major role on the last day of the regional. Florida had to go with inexperienced pitchers while Miami's bullpen struggled until Shaun Valdes-Fauli finished the final game.

Florida 15, Miami 5
In the first game of the day Florida needed to beat Miami to force another game. They did just that jumping out to a 8-0 lead after four innings and chased Miami starting pitcher Brandon Camardese who suffered his first loss of the season. Miami appeared to be the heavy favorite to win this game but Florida was up to challenge. The Gators Ben Harrison went 3-4 with three RBI's for Florida. Gator catcher Brian Rose hit a grand slam while Jeff Corsaletti finished with four RBI's. The Miami Hurricanes left a total of 16 men on base including at least one in every inning. Richard Giannotti got his first start of the postseason and responded with two triples. Brian Barton and Gaby Sanchez each went 3-5.

Miami 13, Florida 10
The last game of the regional was exciting. Miami scored five runs in the third inning to take a 7-2 lead and never looked back. Florida did not go away quietly however. Florida had scored 32 runs in the previous two games and their offense struck once again in the sixth inning scoring five runs. Alex Blanco gave up consecutive homeruns to Ben Harrison and Mario Garza (went 14-19 with homeruns in the regional tournament). Israel Chirino relieved Blanco but also struggled. Coach Morris's first thought was, "Who's the next pitcher I can bring in? We got to stop this." Morris was reluctant to put in top reliever Shaun Valdes-Fauli too soon but he had no other choice. Valdes-Fauli pitched the final three and two-thirds innings of the game. According to Valdes-Fauli, "I got control of all my pitches and was able to put them where I wanted."

Alex Perez was the starting pitcher for Miami and pitched a solid game. Coach Jim Morris was happy with Perez's performance, "Alex Perez pitched very well today. He pitched good for four-and-a-third innings and kept us way ahead at that particular point."

Richard Giannotti had another solid game starting in left field going 2-2 with a homerun and a double. Giannotti came out of the game with a leg injury. He praised his teammates for their efforts this season, "I have not been on a team with more character. The character on this team is unbelievable."

Ryan Braun believed in the team and knew he and his teammates must remain focused on the task at hand during the roller coaster of emotion after losing the first game. Braun finished the second game going 3-5 with two doubles and a triple.

Pitcher J.D. Cockroft was named the regional's most outstanding player. Shortstop Ryan Braun, third baseman Gaby Sanchez and outfielder Brian Barton made the all-regional team as well as Cockroft.

Miami advances to the super-regionals against North Carolina State beginning this upcoming weekend. The super-regionals are a best-of-three series at one of the schools. The announcement of the super-regional host will be named on Monday. Most likely Miami will host this weekend because they are one of the top eight national seeds.

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