Canes Close 2002 Regular Season

The University of Miami baseball team (27-26) begins its 2002 regular season series finale against New York Tech (27-22) beginning this Friday night at Mark Light Stadium. Game times with the Bears are set 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 night game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net Florida. The Hurricanes' Spanish Broadcast Network on WACC 830 AM Radio Paz will be picking up the Friday and Saturday night games. Miami's flagship station Sports Radio 560 WQAM will also be carrying the Saturday night contest.

Miami holds an all-time record of 10-0 vs. New York Tech since the series began with a doubleheader at Mark Light Stadium in 1978. Prior to those two meetings, Miami and New York Tech played eight more times at Mark Light in a recent span since the 1999 season. The past two seasons, the two schools, both independents, have met on the last weekend of the regular season while most other Division I teams are entering conference tournaments.

Last season, Miami won the three games, 17-5, 14-7 and 11-1. In 2000, Miami picked up 6-1, 9-8 and 17-3 victories. Miami won the two 1999 meetings, 12-3 and 20-0. The 1978 doubleheader resulted in 7-1 and 6-5 decisions.

Miami and New York Tech are among the eight schools in Division I listed as Independent (no conference affiliation). Earlier this season UM defeated Lipscomb, 10-2, also an Independent, in a Homestead Challenge game on Feb. 24. Against the current Independent teams, UM has a 22-0 record vs. New York Tech (10-0), Pace (7-0), C.W. Post (4-0) and Lipscomb (1-0).

Starting Friday night for the Hurricanes on the mound will be sophomore RHP Dan Touchet (4-2, 5.06 ERA). Junior RHP Kiki Bengochea (5-6, 5.58 ERA) will get the start on Saturday, while junior Troy Roberson (2-1, 5.48 ERA) closes out the series on Sunday. New York Tech will counter with senior RHP Kevin Perrucci (3-3, 6.50 ERA) on Friday, sophomore RHP Wayne Seder (2-3, 7.71 ERA) on Saturday and senior RHP Brandon Kurz (4-4, 4.27 ERA) on Sunday.

The New York Tech series also marks the final homestand for six Hurricanes: Luke DeBold, Matt Dryer, Roberson, Javy Rodriguez, Brad Safchik and Vince Vazquez. DeBold, Roberson, Rodriguez and Vazquez joined the program as freshmen in 1999, while Dryer and Safchik joined as juniors in 2001. Rodriguez and Vazquez are currently the only two players in the nation to have won participated and won two College World Series championships. Both DeBold and Roberson played throughout the 1999 season, but did not participate in the postseason.

On May 10, DeBold (Systems Analysis), Roberson (Liberal Arts) and Vazquez (Finance) each walked across the stage as part of graduation commencement ceremonies.

The University of Miami, in association with the Fire Officers Association of Miami Dade, will salute our community's firefighters by hosting a "Firefighter Appreciation Night" at Mark Light Stadium on Friday, May 24, between 6:30-7:00 p.m.

Recognizing that our firefighting community relies upon the support of non-uniformed support system, as well as a variety of other government agencies, the University of Miami's athletic department has agreed to make general admission tickets available to all government employees and their accompanying family members, at $4.00 per seat. That's close to a 50% discount off their regular admission price. The discounted admission tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth upon the presentation of a fire department or municipal government identification card.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lieutenant Roman Bas will sing the National Anthem. The "first pitch" will be thrown by retired fire chief Ed Donaldson. A multi-jurisdictional Color Guard will present the national colors. The City of Coral Gables & Miami-Dade County fire equipment will be on display.

On Saturday, May 25th the first 1,250 fans in attendance will receive a free University of Miami logo baseball, courtesy of Lipton Tea. The Second Annual Autograph Day will be held on Sunday, May 26th after the conclusion of the regular season finale vs. New York Tech. Players will be stationed throughout Mark Light Stadium for pictures and autographs.

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