Canes Drop Opener 6-4

No. 8 Florida State (32-11) handed the Miami Hurricanes (18-16) a 6-4 loss in the weekend series opener in front of 3,257 fans Friday night at Mark Light Stadium.

FSU scored all six runs off UM starter Dan Touchet (3-2) in the first five innings, while allowing seven hits, three walks with four strikeouts in 88 pitches. FSU starter Matt Lynch (7-1) went 6.1 innings for the victory with seven hits, four earned runs, one walk and six strikeouts in 104 pitches. FSU reliever Daniel Hodges earned the save.

The Seminoles struck in the top of the first, 3-0, scoring one off a Touchet wild pitch and twice off Tony McQuade's two-run homer to left field. With one out, Bryan Zech reached on a hit by pitch. On Nick Rogers single up the middle, UM centerfielder Danny Figueroa overthrew second base to allow both runners to move into scoring position. Zech then came in on a Touchet wild pitch with Rogers moving to third. Ryan Barthelemy then recorded the second out with a strikeout swinging. McQuade followed with his two-run shot for the three-run lead.

Miami narrowed the FSU lead, 3-2, off a pair of RBI singles from Kevin Howard and Danny Matienzo. Brad Safchik led off with a single to left field and stole second. After Javy Rodriguez flew out, Safchik moved to third on Jim Burt's ground out to first base. Matt Dryer drew a walk to put runners on the corners. Howard then came up with a line drive to centerfield that scored Safchik and moved Dryer to second. Matienzo followed with another line drive single to left center to score Dryer.

FSU went ahead, 4-2, in the second off Stephen Drew's RBI double down the right field line that scored Richie Smith all the way from the first. Smith drew a two-out walk a batter earlier.

Another FSU run scored, 5-2, in the fourth on Drew's sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Jerrod Brown from third. Brown led off the inning with a single, moved to third on a single by Tony Richie and to third on Smith's ground out.

The Seminoles extended their lead, 6-2, in the fifth on Blair McCaleb's RBI double to left field that scored Barthelemy. Barthelemy had earlier walked and stole second.

Miami came back with two runs in the seventh inning to bring the FSU lead to 6-4. The runs came in on an RBI single from Alex Blanco and a fielder's choice grounder from Jaby Rodriguez that brought Blanco in from third. With one out, Kevin Mannix singled to get on base. He later scored from second off a single to left field by Blanco. Safchik then single to right field, moving Blanco to third. Rodriguez followed with a fielder's choice grounder to score Blanco.

Miami and FSU continue the weekend series on Saturday at 7 p.m. The series conclusion is on Sunday at 1 p.m. Both games can be heard on the Internet at, or on the student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM. Both games will also be televised on tape delay by Fox Sports Net Florida. The Saturday game can also be heard in Spanish on WACC 830 AM Radio Paz.

The game started with former Hurricane and NFL star Lamar Thomas throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Thomas starred for the Hurricanes from 1989-92, before getting drafted by Tampa Bay in the third round in 1993. Thomas would later play for the Miami Dolphins.

University of Miami President Donna Shalala will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Saturday night's game.

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