Jay Slams UM Past Long Beach State

Jon Jay went to the plate looking for a hit. The University of Miami freshman left fielder got a little more than what he had hoped for. Jay belted a game-winning grand slam off Long Beach State closer Neil Jamison (2-3) with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to complete a five-run rally and send the No. 3 Hurricanes (43-11) to their sixth consecutive win in front of 2,023 at Mark Light Field.

Jay, 2 for 4 with a run scored and four RBIs, set off a wild celebration at the plate by hammering a 0-1 mid-high fastball over the left field wall for his third home run of the season. Down to their final out and trailing 3-2 Miami would not fold as catcher Erick San Pedro (2 for 3, one run scored) worked a walk and third baseman Gaby Sanchez followed with a single to right.

Right fielder Richard Giannotti walked to load the bases and pinch-runner Joey Hooft scored from third on an infield hit off the bat of Roger Tomas, who fouled off six pitches during the at-bat. Jay ended it two pitches later in grand fashion.

"I was just up there looking for a good pitch to hit," said Jay, who had not homered since May 2 against Coastal Carolina despite entering the game with a .360 batting average. "It's definitely the biggest home run I've ever had in my life. It's a great feeling to see the guys going crazy like that."

Jay's blast was the first game-winning grand slam for the Hurricanes since May 25, 1997 when Jason Michaels hit one to send UM to the College World Series.

The 49ers (36-18) have dropped six in a row.

Seniors Jim Burt, Alex Blanco, J. D. Cockroft, Andrew Cohn, Adam Ricks and Dan Touchet, appearing in their final home regular-season game, were honored in a ceremony held before the game.

But it appeared as if the 49ers would spoil the party. With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the ninth, Long Beach took the lead on a throwing error by UM starter Cesar Carrillo, who threw wildly to third allowing 49ers designated hitter Jason Vargas to score the go-ahead run. Vargas opened the inning with a double into the left field corner off of Carrillo.

The next batter, Long Beach State catcher Brad Davis laid down a bunt back to the pitcher. But Carrillo's errant throw to Sanchez at third sailed into left field. UM freshman Danny Gil (8-0), who replaced Carrillo with one out in the eighth, induced a pair of ground balls to limit the damage. He recorded the victory as a result of Miami's rally.

"That was big. It allowed us to stay in the game," said Carrillo, who picked up a no-decision despite a six-strike out effort in a career -high 8 1/3 innings. "Danny came in and stopped the bleeding."

UM coach Jim Morris wasn't around to see it. Morris was ejected by first base umpire Jeff Feldman in the bottom of the fourth after arguing the result of a controversial double play that ended the inning.

With one out and runners on second and third, Sanchez hit a grounder to 49ers third baseman Tito Cruz, who caught Burt in a rundown between third and home. Long Beach State catcher Brad Davis ran down Burt and then fired the ball to second where shortstop Troy Tulowitzki recorded the third out by tagging Sanchez, who appeared to reach the bag safely.

But Feldman ruled that Tulowitzki applied the tag on time. Morris sprinted over to second from the third base coach's box and was ejected after getting a few choice words in.

"I just didn't agree with the call," said Morris. "I don't think I should have been thrown out, but I was. That's baseball."

Behind 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Sanchez delivered his fifth home run of the season over the center field wall just over the out-stretched glove of Long Beach State's Steve Velazco. Velazco came down clutching his right leg, but stayed in the game after a visit from the team's trainer. Erick San Pedro, who singled with one out, scored on the homer.

49ers sophomore second baseman Chuck Sindlinger tied the contest 1-1 with a solo homer to lead off the top of the third.

The 49ers opened the scoring lead off in the second courtesy of a Brad Davis sac fly, scoring Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki, who started the frame with an infield single deep behind the third base bag, moved to third on a Jason Vargas followed single under the glove off Miami second baseman Adam Ricks. Tulowitzki scored on Davis' deep fly to center field.

Miami host Long Beach State today in the regular season finale at 1 pm as Canes junior left-hander Brandon Camardese will oppose Jason Vargas. Hurricanes men's basketball coach Frank Haith is scheduled to throw out the first pitch on Fan Appreciation Day.

Canes Time Top Stories