Miami Rallies Past Florida Atlantic

Senior All-American Javy Rodriguez recorded a steal at home plate on FAU reliever Tom MacLane to cap a five-run seventh inning that saw the Miami Hurricanes (21-19) rally past No. 17 Florida Atlantic (34-8), 6-5, Wednesday night in front of 1,317 fans at Mark Light Stadium.

FAU removed starter Chris Pillsbury following his 6.0 innings of work where the Blue Wave went ahead 5-1 with reliever Chris Della Rocco. Pillsbury, who had entered the game 8-0, scored a no-decision even though he gave up just one hit and one run to the Hurricanes. He also recorded six strikeouts, one walk, two wild pitches and two hit batters.

Della Rocco (2-1) scored the loss as he allowed two hits, five runs (two earned) and two walks in 0.2 innings of relief in the seventh. The seventh inning saw Miami surge back with five runs to take a 6-5 lead in the game.

Closer George Huguet scored his seventh save of the season as he went the final 2.0 innings with no hits and a career-high four strikeouts. UM starter T.J. Prunty (5-3) moved back in the win column as he went 7.0 innings with eight hits, five runs (four earned), two walks, seven strikeouts and one hit batter.

In the seventh with one out, Della Rocco walked Matt Dryer and Kevin Mannix. Paco Figueroa then reached on a fielder's choice grounder to put runners on the corners, as Mannix was forced out on the play at second. Brad Safchik knocked in the first run, Dryer, with a single up the middle. Danny Figueroa followed with another RBI single to left field scoring Paco Figueroa. Rodriguez then reached on a throwing error by the FAU shortstop Bobby Spano, allowing Safchik to score and advancing Danny Figueroa and Rodriguez to third and second, respectively.

FAU removed Della Rocco for Nelson Lopez, who saw a passed ball on FAU catcher Robert Orton allow the tying run, Danny Figueroa, to score and Rodriguez to move to third. Lopez then walked Danny Matienzo before FAU replaced him with Tom MacLane. With MacLane on the mound, Rodriguez and Matienzo pulled off a double steal, with Rodriguez stealing home for the go-ahead run and Matienzo moving to second.

Miami had opened the scoring, 1-0, in the third inning as Danny Figueroa drove in Paco Figueroa from third with his ground out to the shortstop. Paco Figueroa earlier doubled to left field and moved to third on Safchik's sacrifice bunt.

Florida Atlantic went ahead of the Hurricanes, 3-1, in the fourth on Jeff Fiorentino's three-run homer off Prunty inside the right field foul pole. The home run also scored Mike Cox, who had doubled, and Rusty Brown, who had a fielder's choice grounder.

FAU's L.J. Biernbaum opened up the sixth with a solo home run to left field off Prunty to put the Blue Wave ahead, 4-1.

The Blue Wave added to their lead, 5-1, in the seventh when Gabe Somarriba came around to score from second off Biernbaum's single to second base. On the play, with Somarriba on second, Biernbaum hit deep to second base and Rodriguez on the throw to first under threw Dryer to allow Somarriba to come home.

Miami travels to No. 9 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. All three games can be hear over the Internet at www.hurricanesports.com or on the student voice of the Hurricanes, WVUM 90.5 FM.

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