Canes Rally Comes Up Short

The University of Miami baseball team (10-10) dropped the opening game of a three-game series to visiting Rutgers (7-3), 4-3, in front of 2,052 fans Friday night at Mark Light Stadium.

Rutgers starter Bobby Brownlie (3-1) earned the victory going 7.0 innings with seven hits, one walk, five strikeouts, one wild pitch and one balk in 100 pitches. Hurricane starter Troy Roberson (1-1) took the loss after pitching 4.0 innings with three hits, two runs (one earned), two walks, six strikeouts, one wild pitch and one hit batter in 87 pitches.

Rutgers opened the scoring, 1-0, in the top of the first inning as Graig Badger came around from second off a fielding error by UM second baseman Paco Figueroa on a Ryan Lillis grounder. Badger led off the game with a ground ball single to left field and moved to second on a passed ball.

The Scarlet Knights went ahead 2-0 in the third on Val Majewski's two-out solo home run off Roberson to right field.

Rutgers added another run, 3-0, in the sixth on Alberto Vasquez' sacrifice fly to right field scoring Jeff Frazier from third. Frazier earlier led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a fly out by Steve Normane.

The Hurricanes made a threat in the bottom of the sixth inning with bases loaded and no outs, but a Matt Dryer strikeout followed by Jim Burt grounding into a double play ended the inning.

The Scarlet Knights went ahead, 4-0, in the seventh on Lillis' two-out solo home run off reliever Shawn Valdes-Fauli to left field.

Miami broke up the shut out bid in the eighth inning on Danny Matienzo's two-run homer off reliever Brian Winters deep to right center, also scoring Javy Rodriguez. Earlier, Rodriguez led off the inning with a double to left center.

The Hurricanes staged a late comeback in the bottom of ninth but fell short, 4-3, after Matienzo grounded out to short with the bases loaded to end the game. Earlier, Brad Safchik, with the bases loaded drew a walk scoring Kevin Mannix from third. Mannix reached first on a single and advanced to third on a double to right center by Haas Pratt.

Miami and Rutgers will continue the series on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Net Florida. The student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM, will carry the radio broadcast. The radio broadcast can also be heard on the Internet at www.hurricanesports.com. The series conclusion is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Howard's fourth inning double was the 48th of his career, which ties him for ninth place all-time at Miami with Jason Michaels (1997-98). Dryer, Howard and Matienzo each extended career-high hit streaks in the game with 16, 15 and 14, respectively. The home run by Matienzo in the eighth inning was his team-high ninth on the season and 31st of his career.

The 10-10 record after 20 games is the worst start for the Hurricanes in school-history, surpassing Miami's 10-9-1 record in 1966. During Head Coach Jim Morris' tenure at Miami (1994-2002) the Hurricanes had started the 1997 season 11-9 after 20 games.

Former Hurricane All-American Stan Jakubowski (1973-76) made his return to the park Friday night as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jakubowski, a member of the UM Sports Hall of Fame, was a selection on the 1974 College World Series All-Tournament team after Miami qualified for the championship game in its first-ever trip to Omaha. His 1.81 career ERA still stands as the lowest all-time at UM.

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