Miami Wins Regional

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami baseball has regained its swagger, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Behind a ball battering offense that reappeared for the first time in three weeks, the ‘Canes (41-17-1) pounded out 15 hits in a 10-4 win over Mississippi State Sunday night

With the regional victory, Miami will advance to the Super Regional against Nebraska in Lincoln. Game dates and times will be announced on Tuesday.

Not even the rain, that forced the game to be delayed 96 minutes to an 8:36 pm start, could keep the ‘Canes bats from finally erupting once again.

Coral Gables Regional Most Outstanding Player Danny Figueroa continued where he left off Saturday going 2-for-4 with three runs scored, an RBI and two more stolen bases.

He finished the weekend 8-for-12, with six runs scored, four RBI, six stolen bases and a home run.

"I just come out and give all I can," Figueroa said. "My role is to get on base and that's what I tried to do all weekend. It was a tough weekend. We were just confident that we would come out and win. All the respect to Mississippi State, that's a great team."

But Miami was better, however, more importantly found the bats that had been missing. Even with wins over Virginia Commonwealth and Mississippi State, the ‘Canes scratched out runs in different ways, none having to do with actually getting good contact on the ball.

The ‘Canes wasted no time in this one. As the designated road team, Figueroa led off with an infield single. After Paco Figueroa flied out to right, Danny stole second. Ryan Braun struck out, but after a Jon Jay walk, Danny Valencia smoked a double into right-center to score Figueroa and Jay off of Mississippi State starter Brooks Dunn for a 2-0 lead.

The onslaught continued in the second when Brendan Katin led off with a single to left. After Alex Garabedian grounded to second that advanced Katin to second, Walter Diaz reached on an infield single. Diaz stole second.

Danny Figueroa grounded to short, and rather than take the sure out at first, Mississippi State shortstop Michael Rutledge tried to get Katin at the plate, but Katin beat the throw. Figueroa stole second, but Ed Easley's throw was well over-thrown allowing Diaz to score from third. Figueroa advanced to third and scored on a double to left by Paco.

After Justin Pigott came in for Dunn, Paco stole third and scored on an RBI grounder to third for a 6-0 lead.

The ‘Canes cracked the scoreboard again in the fourth on an RBI double by Paco Figueroa scoring Diaz for a 7-0 lead, but the SEC Champs would not go down quietly.

After cruising through the first three innings, ‘Canes starter Brandon Camardese ran into trouble, in large part to poor defense.

After retiring Brad Jones on a fly to center, Diaz misplayed a grounder by Brad Corley. It was ruled a hit, but clearly and error.

Camardese struck out Joseph Hunter, but Joseph McCaskill followed with a single to center. Jeff Butts drilled a double to right to score Corley and McCaskill cutting the lead to 7-2.

Further damage was averted when Camardese got Easley to pop to second, but Diaz committed an error that allowed the Bulldogs to load the bases with two outs that brought the fans to the edge of their seats.

The Bulldogs kept the pressure on in the fifth. Thomas Berkery opened with a single and Jones followed with a single of his own.

That was all UM coach Jim Morris needed to see as he replaced Camaradese with Danny Gil. Gil was not exactly effective as he walked Corley on five pitches to load the bases with no outs. Hunter then ripped a single to left to score Berkery and cut the lead to 7-3.

Gil got McCaskill to ground into a 6-4-3 double play leaving a runner at third.

Andrew Lane replaced him and finished the Bulldogs off striking out Butts on three nasty hooks.

Ryan Braun added insurance when he blasted a Pigott fastball over the wall in left-center field to give the ‘Canes a 9-4 in the sixth.

"I've been really struggling of late at the plate," Braun said. "I've hit some balls sharply, but they've always been at someone. It gave us the momentum back. It was a huge home run for the team and I."

Lane finished it off the ‘Canes pitching a career high four innings out of the pen giving up only four hits, walking none and striking out three. He forced the Bulldogs to swing consistently hitting his spots.

"What can you say about Andrew," Danny Figueroa said. "He goes after the hitters, and he shut them down."

Eddy Rodriguez finished the scoring with a home run of his own in the seventh.

Chris Perez recorded the final out on a fly to the left and the ‘Canes can start packing for Lincoln, less than an hour away from what they want their final destination and home away from home to be, Omaha, and the College World Series.

And finding those bats couldn't have come at a better time.

"No question it's huge for us to hit the ball tonight and get back on track at the plate," Braun said. "I can't remember the last time we scored double digits. We'll be ready for Nebraska."

Notes – Brendan Katin was 4-for-5 with a run scored; Braun was 2-for-5, with 3 RBI; Diaz was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Coral Gables Regional All-Regional Team

First Base – Danny Valencia, Miami

Second Base – Paco Figueroa, Miami

Shortstop – Walter Diaz, Miami

Third Base – Tyler Stevens, Florida Atlantic

Catcher – Eddy Rodriguez, Miami

Outfield – Brad Corley, Mississippi State

Outfield – Jeff Butts, Mississippi State

Outfield – Danny Figueroa, Miami

DH – Ryan Braun, Miami

Pitcher – Cesar Carrillo, Miami

Pitcher – Mickey Storey, Florida Atlantic

Most Outstanding Player – Danny Figueroa, Miami

Canes Time Top Stories