Miami Travels to #9 North Carolina

The University of Miami baseball team (21-19) travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. this weekend for a three-game series with ninth-ranked North Carolina (30-14) at Cary C. Boshamer Stadium.

The series begins Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by 7 p.m. Saturday night at 1:00 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 Tar Heels are ranked No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball, No. 19 by Baseball America, No. 23 by Baseball Weekly and No. 24 by the NCBWA.

Miami and North Carolina have met 19 previous times since the 1976 season with the Hurricanes holding a 13-6 advantage in the series. Under Head Coach Jim Morris, who was born and raised in North Carolina, the Hurricanes are 6-2 against the Tar Heels since his first season at UM in 1994.

In the four all-time meetings with UNC in Chapel Hill, UM is 2-2, including a three-game series victory in 1987 under Head Coach Ron Fraser. During Morris' 12 seasons as the head coach at Georgia Tech (1982-93), his Yellow Jackets were 20-17 against the Tar Heels, including a 6-9 mark on the road.

In the most recent meeting between the Miami and UNC, the Tar Heels got the best of the Hurricanes in a 9-0 shutout during play at the 2000 ACC/Disney Baseball Blast in Orlando, Fla.

Prior to that loss, UM and UNC split a pair of meetings (L 6-5, W 7-4) at the 1998 Atlantic I Regional in Coral Gables. The second game, a 7-4 UM victory, was to advance to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The Hurricanes enter this weekend's series fresh of a 6-5 victory over 17th-ranked Florida Atlantic Wednesday night at Mark Light Stadium. Additionally, Miami won a series with then-No. 13 Long Beach State in Coral Gables after recording wins the first two nights.

Down 5-1 going into the bottom of the seventh against Florida Atlantic, Miami rallied back with five runs to take the lead 6-5. Senior Javy Rodriguez capped off the five-run seventh with his steal at home plate on a double-steal that also included Danny Matienzo at first base. Closer George Huguet picked up his seventh save after striking out a career-high four over the final 2.0 innings. Hurricane starter T.J. Prunty (5-3) recorded the victory tying his career-high with 7.0 innings pitched and establishing a new career-high with seven strikeouts.

On the mound for the Hurricanes this Friday night will be Sophomore RHP Dan Touchet (3-2, 4.82 ERA). Junior RHP Kiki Bengochea (3-5, 7.10 ERA) will pitch Saturday night. Freshman RHP Vince Bongiovanni (0-4, 7.62 ERA) will get the start on Sunday.

The Tar Heels will counter with junior RHP Scott Autrey (2-2, 4.58 ERA) on Friday, sophomore LHP Daniel Moore (3-1, 7.35 ERA) on Saturday and freshman RHP Gary Bakker (5-2, 3.10 ERA) on Sunday.

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