UM Baseball Wins Opener, 7-0

<b>CORAL GABLES, Fla.</b> – The second-ranked Miami Hurricanes baseball team began their 2005 season at home with a victory over FIU, 7-0. Cesar Carrillo, John McLean, and Danny Gil combined for a two-hit shutout.

Miami pitcher Cesar Carrillo (1-0) picked up the victory and continued his success in a Miami uniform as the Hurricanes improved to 20-0 when he appears in a game. He didn't allow a run in 6.0 innings and gave up one hit. Carrillo, who averaged 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings last year, struck out six.

"I don't have the pressure to stay undefeated," Carrillo said. "I just want to come out here and compete. Every time I take the mound I want to show everyone that I can pitch."

Carrillo frustrated the FIU hitters mixing up his fastball with an effective changeup and curveball. The FIU hitters were off-balance as they hit a number of balls off of the end of their bats.

"My two-seam fastball was working well tonight," Carrillo said. "I was able to locate it and jam batters."

Miami (1-0) featured seven new defensive starters and six players made their Hurricane debutes. Miami also welcomed back Danny Figueroa in centerfield who spent the entire 2004 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

"I am very pleased with the win," said Miami head coach Jim Morris, who is in his 12th year at Miami. "I have a good club and I thought we played well tonight."

Miami broke open a 1-0 game with five runs in the sixth inning sending 10 batters to the plate.

Paco Figueroa led off the sixth inning with a line drive base hit to left field. Ryan Braun was hit by a pitch moving Figueroa down to second. Jon Jay advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. FIU decided not to pitch to Brendan Katin and walked him intentionally giving Roger Tomas a bases loaded opportunity with one out.

After the walk, FIU brought in right-handed pitcher Frank Gonzalez, who had a 2.75 ERA in 19 innings in 2004, to relieve starter Ammer Cabrera. Tomas was hit a pitch in the ankle after fouling off two pitches with an 0-2 count, scoring Figueroa. Danny Valencia, making his Hurricane debut after transferring from UNC-Greensboro, delivered a single to score Ryan Braun giving the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead.

"Valencia's hit was a big hit," Morris said. "There is no question about that."

Freshman walk-on OF Patrick Feeney replaced Carrillo as a pinch-hitter and recorded his first collegiate hit. Katin and Tomas scored on the play as Miami stretched it's lead to 5-0. Danny Figueroa continued the big inning with a double to score Valencia.

"It is the best feeling that I could have," said Feeney, a walk-on from St. Louis. "I have dreamed of playing here since I was a little kid and getting a hit in my first game and first at-bat, nothing better.

"The hit really helped break the game open," Feeney added. "We even scored a couple of runs after that. It was big for the team to knock them out of the game that inning. It was big for me and it is something that I wont forget."

In the bottom of the first inning Ryan Braun delivered on a 3-0 count with a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Paco Figueroa to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead. Figueroa got on base with a walk, advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

FIU was threatening to score in the top of the fourth as they had a runner on second and Nick Cadena hit a deep flyball to left-centerfield only to have Danny Figueroa utilize his speed and track it down holding the Golden Panthers scoreless through four innings.

"It was a well hit ball and that is my asset out there," Figueroa said. "Right now my arm isn't in the shape I want it to be so I have to cover a little more ground than usual. I love doing that and it feels good to be back.

Cabrera (0-1) took the loss for FIU after pitching 5.1 innings and giving up five hits and three earned runs.

Alex Garabedian was the only freshman in the starting lineup as he batted in the seventh spot as the designated hitter. He replaced Eddy Rodriguez at catcher in the top of the fifth inning and went 0-for-3 in the game. Rodriguez was dealing with back spasms and is listed as day-to-day.

John McLean did not allow a hit in two innings, striking out three batters after relieving Carrillo in the seventh inning. Danny Gil pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

FIU	0–0–0   0–0–0   0–0–0 --- 0  2  1   
Miami	1–0–0   0–0–5   1–0–X --- 7  9  2
NOTES: Former Hurricane Jason Michaels threw out the ceremonial first pitch…Marlins 3B Mike Lowell was in attendance along with White Sox P Orlando Hernandez…P Cesar Carrillo recorded his first career at-bat striking out in the bottom of the fifth…SS Roger Tomas made a nice backhand on a groundball deep in the hole and threw out the baserunner by a step…3B Ryan Braun stole two bases in the seventh inning…announced attendance was 3,197…time of game was 2:30.

NEXT GAME: February 4 at Home vs. High Point at 7:00 p.m.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

Canes Time Top Stories