UM Hosts Elon This Weekend

The University of Miami baseball team (16-11) hosts Elon University (18-4) for a three-game series beginning, Friday, March 29 at 7 p.m. The series continues on Saturday at 7 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m.

All three games can be heard over the Internet at www.hurricanesports.com or on the student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM. Sports Radio 560 WQAM will also broadcast the Friday game.

On the mound for the Hurricanes Friday night will be junior RHP Troy Roberson (1-1, 5.12 ERA). Sophomore RHP T.J. Prunty (4-0, 3.23 ERA) will pitch Saturday night, while sophomore RHP Dan Touchet (2-1, 5.00 ERA) goes on Sunday.

Both Prunty and Touchet earned wins last weekend vs. the Bruins, while Roberson took a no-decision. Prunty went a team-season-long 7.0 innings in game No. 2 and allowed no runs. Touchet went a career-long 6.0 innings with no earned runs and six strikeouts.

Offensively, the Hurricanes have seven batters hitting over .300 for the season, led by senior All-American Javy Rodriguez (.388). Following Rodriguez' .388 batting average is Jim Burt (.375), Matt Dryer (.362), Danny Matienzo (.353), Kevin Howard (.340), Brad Safchik (.312) and Kevin Mannix (.303). Matienzo also has a team-high 10 home runs and 30 RBI.

The team enters the Elon series having won its last five games to push its season total to 16-11. Most recently, the Hurricanes swept a three-game series with UCLA last weekend and Northwestern on Tuesday. UM's five-game streak started with Wisconsin-Milwaukee last Wednesday.

Elon, Hurricane head coach Jim Morris' alma mater, enters the weekend with a 12-game win streak dating back to March 9 over Duke. The Phoenix, who are currently 18-4, also defeated nationally-ranked Wake Forest, 4-1, on March 6. Elon has a team batting average of .343 and three players batting over .400 on the year. Senior outfielder Whit Bryant leads the crop of hitters with a .475 average. Senior outfielder Jason Tuttle is tied for second on the team with a .400 batting average, along with senior first baseman Morgan Frazier, but has a team-high 19 stolen bases.

Miami leads the all-time series with Elon, 5-1, over the two three-game series played at Mark Light Stadium during the 1999 and 2001 seasons. The Phoenix won the first-ever meeting between to the two clubs, 13-6, April 30, 1999, while the Hurricane picked up the last five games. After the 1999 loss to Elon in the series debut, Miami finished the series strong winning 11-0 and 24-5 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Miami won all three games with the Phoenix in 2001, but not by as wide of a margin as in the previous two wins from 1999. Miami won the first game of the series 4-2, but was out-hit 9-4. The second game saw the Hurricanes pull out a 10-9 win in 12 innings, when Kevin Mannix singled in the winning run with bases loaded. UM closed out the series with a 7-4 victory, scoring four in the third and three in the fifth.

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.

Milam's Market is offering a "Hurricane Family Day" ticket promotion for the Sunday, April 21st baseball game vs. Long Beach State. Hurricane fans can receive a free ticket ($8 value) if they redeem their register receipt with a M&M's SNACK SIZE CANDY product at the customer service desk at participating stores in Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami (Bird Road) or Coconut Grove (US #1). Tickets will be distributed while supplies last on a first come, first serve basis. Log on to www.hurricanesports.com for details.

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