Miami Defeats MSU, 4-1

The University of Miami defeated Mississippi State, 4-1, behind their pitching ace Cesar Carrillo. MSU now faces Florida Atlantic, a winner over Virginia Commonwealth, Sunday at 3 p.m. in a game that will determine who faces Miami in a 7 p.m. game Sunday night.

Miami's Carrillo, with late inning relief help from closer Chris Perez, shut MSU's hitters down for most of the game. Carrillo didn't allow MSU a basehit until the 5th inning when DH Brian LaNinfa hit a one-out double against the left center wall.

MSU scored their only run of the game on an RBI sacrifice fly by Brad Jones. They had a chance to add additional runs, but Brad Corley, who earlier in the game had hit a ball that caught at the wall by Miami left fielder Jon Jay, hit a grounder to short for the third out of the inning with men on second and third.

Meanwhile, MSU's starting pitcher Todd Doolittle, who earlier in the week was named the Lousiville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week for his performance in the SEC Tournament, kept the Miami hitters at bay until the 5th inning, an inning that saw them take a one-run lead on an RBI single by Jon Jay.

Miami added a second run, which turned out to be the gamewinner, in the 7th inning on a sac fly by Danny Valencia. Danny Figueroa, who reached base five times and stole 3 bases during the game, added two additional runs in the 8th inning on a two-out home run.

Postgame Quotes:

MSU coach Ron Polk

Opening comments:
"One of the advantages of being the No. 1 seed is you are playing a 4 seed. Then, you are able to do what (Miami head coach) Jim Morris has done 11 times now, start your ace in game two against a 2 seed. He feels like (Miami starting pitcher Cesar) Carrillo is going to be a pretty good first round draft pick. I thought he was as advertised. His numbers were gaudy coming into the game. But we had some opportunities against him. I thought Brad Corley's ball died right at left centerfield. Brad Jones got a lot of height on his ball. Both balls would have probably been home runs yesterday with the wind. It was still out there today. (Miami leadoff hitter) was the key today. He was on base five times today. One was an infield hit, two walks, a hit batter and the home run. I thought that Todd Doolittle pitched well against a nice lineup. Jon Crosby will pitch the 3 o'clock game. And Brooks Dunn will start if we win that game."

Talk a little more about Cesar Carrillo.
"He is a strikeout guy. He has a lot of weapons. His fastball has life to it, some sink to it. His breaking ball was sharp. This kid is going to make himself some money (in the pros) if he stays healthy."

How tough will it be on your team the next couple of days, knowing they have to win three games in two days to win the regional?
"Our guys are 19, 20, 21, 22 years old. I would be tired, but they are kids and will be able to play through it. The heat is a little tough on the catchers, but, thankfully, we have two guys that can catch. We'll go with (Thomas) Berkery in the afternoon and Ed Easley tomorrow night if we get by the afternoon (game). We have enough pitching, so that is good. Hopefully, they will pitch up to what they are capable of and we score some runs. We have to score some runs like we did (Friday). Miami's pitching is good, but I don't think we will see someone as good as (Cesar Carrillo)."

MSU starting pitcher Todd Doolittle

Talk about facing Danny Figueroa, who got on base every time you faced him, and the rest of the Miami lineup.
"He took some good pitches and got some walks against me. I thought that I threw well early against them, but they are a good lineup. I just ran out of gas pretty early and was fighting through it as best as I could. But they are good."

Figueroa stole a base on you each time he got on base.
"I don't know what they were doing over there. I was trying to change it up on him, but I guess they had me timed. I don't know if I was in a pattern, but they were getting some good jumps on me and stealing some bases."

MSU 1B Brad Jones

Did you think the ball you hit almost to the wall was a home run?
"When I first hit it, I knew I hit if on the barrel, but I also knew that I got under it a little. I thought it would be close, but I knew that I hadn't got all of it. I was hoping the wind would help it go out."

What is your opinion of Carrillo?
"He has a good arsenal. He throws a lot of BP (batting practice) fastball, which is a slower fastball. He throws a hard fastball. His fastball has a lot of movement on it. With all that movement, you are going to swing at some balls that you shouldn't swing at. He kept us off balance and we didn't make adjustments under later on. He's just a good pitcher."

Did you feel you had your work cut out for you after seeing him a couple of innings?
"We came into this game with a lot of confidence. After the first couple of innings, we weren't down. We thought we could hit him. We just didn't get the key hits like they did."

To win this regional, you now have to win three games in a row. How tough will it be to win three games in the next two games?
"The next two days and next three games are going to be tough. Hopefully, we will prove what kind of team we are and pull through this."

Miami head coach Jim Morris

Opening comments:
"That was a great college baseball game to watch. Every fan on both sides had to enjoy it up until the 8th inning. Mississippi State has an outstanding program. We knew we would be playing a tough team. They are hot and are able to play (well) on the road. You couldn't intimidate them with a crowd because they are used to playing in front of huge crowds. They are well coached It was a great effort by their team and our team. It was another outstanding performance by Cesar (Carrillo). Danny Figueroa every at-bat and stole everything but the resin bag. John Jay has the gamewinning hit. It was really a little scary up until Danny hit the home run in the 8th inning. Their (starting) pitcher (Todd Doolittle) threw outstanding."

Discuss your strategy of starting your ace in the second game instead of the first game against the 4th seed in the regional.
"It is something that we have done every since I have been at Miami. There is a little bit more luxury being the number 1 seed versus the two seed. If you are a two or three seed, you have to start your ace. FAU is great and Mississippi State is great. If you come through the SEC, arguably the best conference in college baseball, and win it, you know they have a good ballclub."

Talk about Carrillo's performance?
"He had great stuff. He has pitched great every time out. It has been amazing to be honest with you. His fastball was his best pitch tonight because he had great run on it. It was in the 90's. He locates his pitches well. He mixed in his breaking stuff and threw some changeup over (the plate). To do what he did against Mississippi State, which is a great club, says even more about what kind of stuff he had tonight."

Miami starting pitcher Cesar Carrillo

Talk about your outing.
"Basically, I was trying to come out and set the tone for the ballclub and keep us in the game."

Did you run out of gas in the 7th inning?
"No, I didn't run out of gas. You just have to give Mississippi State credit. They came out hitting. They could have easily folded, but they came out with a bang in the 8th inning."

Miami CF Danny Figueroa

Were you able to time Doolittle's throw to home plate? Was that why you were able to steal on him each time you got on base?
"Yeah, I was getting his timing down. Most of the time he was quick to the plate. Other times he wasn't. But I felt that I got great jumps off of him. He is just a great pitcher, but we were expecting that. Pitching-wise, he was locating great. He's just a Bulldog out there."

Talk about the home run you hit in the 8th inning off of MSU reliever Mike Valentine.
"There were two men on and two outs. The count was 1-1. And it was a fastball. I was just looking to put the ball in play and add some insurance runs."

MSU LF Jon Jay

Corley's ball that you caught at the wall, how close was it to going out of the park?
"I was right at the warning track. I don't think it would have gone out, but would have probably hit at the top of the wall."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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