Raben Hits Two Home Runs, UM Wins 8-1

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Miami outfielder Dennis Raben hit two home runs and starting pitcher Eric Erickson allowed one run in eight innings pitched to lead the Hurricanes (8-5) to an 8-1 victory over Fordham (0-5) Saturday night at Mark Light Field.

Eric Erickson threw a very efficient game, striking out five and walking just two while throwing first-pitch strikes to 21 of the 30 batters he faced.

Erickson, a freshman left hander from Sarasota High, has been the best pitcher for UM this season.

"He has been our most consistent pitcher so far," coach Jim Morris said. "He threw a great game tonight and Raben hit two home runs tonight which helped us find our offensive groove."

"I am getting ahead of all the batters, which is the name of the game," Erickson said. "When I signed with Miami, I planned on doing well this year. I knew if I just pitched like I am capable of—just getting ahead of hitters—throwing strikes makes everything happen."

Dennis Raben finished the night 2-for-3, hitting his first two home runs of the season while driving in 3 runs. It was Raben's first multi home run game of his career.

Raben golfed a low fastball over the right field wall for his first home run of the season, scoring Dave DiNatalie to give Miami a 2-0 lead in the fourth.

His second home run, a solo shot to left-center field, of the night in the sixth off relief pitcher Andrew Davis extended UM's lead 5-0

"With the first home run, their pitcher threw me a fastball that I jumped on and put a good swing into it and barely got the ball over the fence," Raben said. "The second home run was a changeup low and away that I drove to left field."

After Sobolewski lead-off the second with a double off the center field wall, Miami loaded the bases with a Dennis Raben walk and Richard O'Brien reaching base on an error.

But the inning yielded no runs as Blake Tekotte hit into an inning ending double play.

In the fourth inning, Kevin Diego drove-in O'Brien from third on a single to left field to extend Miami's lead 3-0.

Roger Tomas made the score 4-0 in the fifth scoring from third on a strike out-throw out play with Sobolewski at the plate and Yonder Alonso attempting the stolen base at second.

Fordham catcher John Mollicone scored the Rams' first run of the game in the seventh on a solo home run off Erickson to right field cutting Miami's lead to 5-1.

Sobolewski hit the first triple of his career in the seventh, scoring Alonso from first base, giving Miami a 6-1 lead.

Tomas drove in Jonathan Weislow from first with a double down the left field line to make Miami's lead 7-1.

In the eighth inning Fordham pitcher James Sammit hit three consecutive batters to score Tomas from third to give the Hurricanes the 8-1 lead.

Pitcher Danny Gil made his first appearance of the season as a reliever in the ninth and forced all three batters he faced into outs to end the game.

ETC: Freshman shortstop Ryan Jackson will have oral surgery this week after his front teeth were chipped when a throw to first thrown by Fordham catcher John Mollicone hit him in the face Friday night. Jackson's return status is currently unknown.

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

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