Miami Snaps Skid With 8-5 Win

Sophomore Jim Burt hit a fifth-inning grand slam to propel the Miami Hurricanes (10-8) to an 8-5 over visiting South Florida (8-8) in front of 1,243 fans Sunday afternoon at Mark Light Stadium. The victory, which snapped a three-game losing streak, also allowed the Hurricanes to avoid getting swept by an opponent at home for just the second time in the history of the program. USF won Friday (7-6) and Saturday (13-7).

UM starter Dan Touchet (1-0) earned the win in his first career start for the Hurricanes. George Huguet scored his third save of the season. Touchet departed after 5.0 innings with four hits, three earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts in 76 pitches. Huguet went the final 2.1 innings for Miami. USF starter John Uhl (2-2) took the loss.

Burt finished the day going 2-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI. Each UM starter recorded a hit in the game. The defense committed just one error after making 12 the prior to games. The Hurricane offense has also had a home run in 12 straight games.

South Florida opened the scoring, 1-0, in the third inning on Mike Cunningham's RBI double deep to left field that scored Bill Nahorodny from first. A batter earlier, Nahorodny drew a walk from Touchet.

The Bulls went ahead, 3-0, in the fourth inning. Myron Leslie led off with a walk. Chris Cuccia followed with a single to centerfield with Leslie moving to second. Scott Rachlin moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. The first run came in, Leslie, on Mike Barclay's sacrifice line out to right field. Devin Ivany drove the second run in, Cuccia, with a double to left field.

The Hurricanes sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored seven times to go ahead 7-3 on the Bulls. Greg Dini led off with a single to centerfield. After Danny Figueroa struck out, Javy Rodriguez singled to right field to put runners on first and second. Kevin Howard walked to load the bases. Danny Matienzo then drove in UM's first runs of the game with a two-RBI single to right field, scoring Dini and Rodriguez. After a Kevin Mannix line out, Matt Dryer was hit to load the bases. Burt followed with his second grand slam of the season, his fifth home run, deep to left field to put UM ahead 6-3. Joey Hooft followed with a single to centerfield off reliever Bubba Ingram. Hooft then stole second, moved to third on a throwing error by Ivany and scored on a wild pitch.

Burt's grand slam knocked Uhl off the mound after going 4.2 innings with eight hits, six earned runs, one walk, four strikeouts and two hit batters in 90 pitches. He was replaced with Ingram.

UM relievers J.D. Cockroft and Shawn Valdes-Fauli combined to keep USF from scoring in the sixth as the Bulls left two men on base. Valdes-Fauli retired all three batters faced in the inning after Cockroft allowed two base runners on a walk and a fielder's choice grounder to first.

The Hurricanes added a run, 8-3, in the sixth on Mannix' RBI grounder up the middle that scored Rodriguez from second. With one out, Rodriguez singled to right center and moved to second on Howard's fly out to right field. Matienzo followed with a walk before Mannix' first hit of the game.

South Florida added a pair of runs in the seventh to bring the score within 8-5. Cunningham led off with a single to right field, followed by another single to right field by Mike Macaluso, moving Cunningham to third. Jeff Baisley knocked Cunningham in with a single to centerfield. Leslie then hit into a double play with Macaluso moving to third on the play. Pinch-hitter Ronnie Handley drove in the second run, Macaluso, with a single to centerfield.

Rodriguez' two hits on the day gave him 254 for his career, which jumped him into third place all-time at Miami ahead of Randy Guerra (252, 1976-79) and Bobby Hill (253, 1997-99).

Players and coaches from the 2001 College World Series champion baseball team will visit the White House on Tuesday, March 12 as part of the "Day of Champions" event, along with the 2001 National Champion football team. The team returns to action on Wednesday, March 13 against Ball State at 7 p.m. at Mark Light Stadium. Rutgers will visit Mark Light the following weekend with a three-game series beginning Friday, March 15.

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