Miami Hosts No. 13 Long Beach State

The University of Miami baseball team (18-18) look to get back on track as its hosts 13th-ranked Long Beach State (24-10) for a three-game series beginning this Friday night at Mark Light Stadium.

The three games with the 49ers are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. 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. The Saturday games will also be televised on tape delay by Fox Sports Net Florida at 10 p.m. the same evening. UM's Spanish Broadcast on WACC 830 AM Radio Paz will also broadcast the Saturday evening game.

On the mound for the Hurricanes Friday night will be Sophomore RHP Dan Touchet (3-2, 4.66 ERA). Sophomore RHP T.J. Prunty (4-3, 5.90 ERA) will pitch Saturday night. Junior RHP Kiki Bengochea (2-5, 7.12 ERA) will get the start on Sunday.

The 49ers will counter with Sophomore LHP Abe Alvarez (8-1, 1.97 ERA) on Friday, junior RHP Daniel Eisentrager (5-2, 3.93 ERA) on Saturday and freshman RHP Jered Weaver (5-2, 3.35 ERA) on Sunday.

Larry Coker, the National Coach of the Year, from the National Champion Miami Hurricanes football team will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday night.

This Saturday's game against Long Beach State will also be the National Championship Commemorative Mini-Bat Giveaway. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a free Limited Edition National Championship Commemorative Mini-bat, courtesy of Fuddruckers.

Game two with Long Beach State will also start "Sweet Swing Saturdays". Beginning this weekend all fans attending Saturday night games at Mark Light Stadium will be eligible to participate in the Sweet Swing Saturdays promotion that has the lucky winner getting an all expense paid trip to the University of Miami vs. Tennessee football game in Knoxville this upcoming season.

Miami leads the all-time series with Long Beach State, 9-6, dating back to the 1993 season under then-head coach Brad Kelley. Under Jim Morris, the Hurricanes are 8-4 against the 49ers since 1995. In the four three-game series between the two teams, Miami leads 3-1 and has won the past three. Six games have been played in Coral Gables, with both teams having three wins and six games have been played at Blair Field in Long Beach, with UM leading 4-2. The Hurricanes also hold a 2-1 advantage of the 49ers in postseason play.

Most recently, the Hurricanes picked up consecutive series victories over the 49ers at Blair Field in Long Beach in 1999 and at Mark Light Stadium in 2000. In each series, Miami won two of three games. After falling to the 49ers 12-0 in game one of 1999, UM bounced back to win the next two, 9-7 and 8-6. In 2000, Miami won the first two at Mark Light Stadium with scores of 6-3 and 12-2, but the 49ers avoided a sweep by winning game three, 6-4.

Long Beach State won the first-ever three-game series with the Hurricanes at Mark Light Stadium in 1993. After Miami picked up a 7-3 win in the first game between the two, Long Beach State won the second two games, 4-2 and 10-8. In the return series visit to Long Beach by UM, the Hurricanes would drop game one, 4-1, but rattle off two straight wins, 6-4 and 3-2.

Between the two sets of series, Miami and Long Beach State played three postseason games against each other. First, at the 1996 NCAA Regional at Austin, Tex., Miami avoided elimination with a 5-2 victory over Long Beach State after getting upset by Sam Houston State, 5-4, in the opener. UM would go on to play for the College World Series title after climbing out of the loser's bracket with four straight wins and winning the first three at the CWS.

Omaha, Neb., was the site of the second two meetings between the Hurricanes and 49ers at the 1998 College World Series. Miami opened up the tournament with a 3-1 win over Long Beach State. The Hurricanes would then fall to Arizona State, 9-2, and have to face the 49ers once again in elimination play after Long Beach State avoided the exit with a 7-4 win over Florida State. The second game at the 1998 CWS resulted in a 6-3 win for the 49ers over Miami.

The 49ers enter the weekend series with a 24-10 overall record, having won two straight and nine of the past 11. Long Beach State is 8-1 in Big West Conference play with its lone loss coming in the middle game of a series victory over UC Santa Barbara last weekend. The 49ers defeated San Diego, 10-9, on the road this past Tuesday.

Miami recently wrapped up its annual six games with Florida State going 1-5 vs. the Seminoles. Miami's lone victory came in game two in Tallahassee two weeks ago. UM has lost its last three weekend series since a three-game sweep over visiting UCLA March 23-25.

Miami holds a 16-16 record against the Big West Conference, including Cal State Fullerton (6-10) and Cal State Northridge (1-0). Earlier this season UM ended a four-game losing streak to the Big West Conference with a 5-2 over Cal State Fullerton at the Kia Baseball Bash in Fullerton, Calif.

Following Long Beach State, Miami travels to No. 12 North Carolina for a three-game series with the Tar Heels at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill. Game times are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night. The Sunday game time has been changed to 1 p.m. from an original 2 p.m. start.

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