Hurricanes Top Northwestern 5-3

After a one-hour and 40-minute rain delay to start the game, the Miami Hurricanes (16-11) defeated Northwestern (6-9), 5-3, in front of 526 fans Tuesday night at Mark Light Stadium.

Senior Brad Safchik came through for Miami in the eighth inning hitting a two-RBI triple to right center on Northwestern reliever Evan Blesoff (1-2) scoring Joey Hooft and Erick San Pedro to put UM ahead 5-3. Both, Hooft and San Pedro reached on fielder's choice grounders.

UM reliever J.D. Cockroft (3-0) earned the win for the Hurricanes with 0.1 innings pitched in the eighth. George Huguet earned his fifth save of the season closing out the ninth.

The Wildcats had opened the scoring, 3-0, in the top of the first inning with two outs showing. Brandon Ackley first reached with a single, followed by a walk to David Gresky. Travis Tharp then put Northwestern on the scoreboard with a three-run home run to right center off UM starter Kiki Bengochea.

Matt Dryer narrowed the Wildcats lead, 3-1, in the second inning with a solo home run off Pohlman off the scoreboard in left field.

Miami moved closer to Northwestern in the fifth inning, 3-2, on Safchik's RBI single past the shortstop to bring Danny Figueroa in from second. Figueroa reached on a walk and moved to second on a Finch balk.

The Hurricanes tied the score, 3-3, in the sixth when Tharp at first base misplayed a San Pedro pop fly allowing Dryer to score from third. Dryer led off with a walk, moved to second on a Jim Burt sacrifice bunt and then to third on Hooft's fly out to right center.

Bengochea earned a no-decision in his start with a season-high 6.2 innings allowing four hits, three earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts in 104 pitches. All three runs on Bengochea came on Tharp's three-run home run with two outs showing in the first.

The Hurricanes return to action this weekend with a three-game series against Elon University, beginning this Friday. All three games can be heard on the Internet at or on the student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM. The Friday night game against Elon can also be heard on Sports Radio 560 WQAM.

The series with Elon will be highlighted by the ceremonial first pitches by WQAM's Marc Vandermeer on Friday night and two-time Olympic Medal winner Jennifer Rodriguez on Saturday. Vandermeer will be making his last call as the voice of the Hurricanes Friday night, before assuming his new role as the new play-by-play voice for the Houston Texans of the NFL. Rodriguez, a speedskater, won two Medals at the recent Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and is a Miami resident.

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