Miami Defeats MSU, 10-4

MSU starting pitcher Brooks Dunn, who one week ago shut down a hard-hitting Ole Miss Rebel team to win the SEC Tournament Championship game, didn't fare as well against the Miami Hurricanes, allowing six runs in 1.1 innings before a crowd of 2,258 in the championship game of the Coral Gables NCAA Regional. The Canes went on to win 10-4 to advance to a Super Regional.

"It was a long day for our boys," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "Although we got to go back to the hotel for about an half an hour, the heat was tough. The kids battled, but we just gave up too many early runs. And we left a lot of guys on base."

Miami struck for two runs in the 1st inning. Danny Figueroa, who was named the MVP of the regional, led off with a single, then stole second base, his 5th stolen base of the regional. After a walk to Jon Jay, Danny Valencia doubled both in to give Miami a 2-0 lead.

"Figueroa was our nemesis," said Polk. "If it wasn't for him, we probably win (Saturday)."

Then, in the top of the 2nd, Miami scored four runs off of Dunn, knocking him out of the game. Katin and Diaz reached on singles. Danny Figueroa singled in Katin. On a steal attempt by Figueroa, the ball was overthrown at second base, allowing Diaz to score. Paco Figueroa then knocked in Danny Figueroa with a double. MSU then replaced Dunn with Justin Pigott. A groundout to third scored Figueroa, who had stolen third base earlier, for the final run of the inning.

"They put some things together (against Dunn)," said Polk. "Really, the ballgame was determined in the first two innings when they scored 6 runs."

Miami came back in the top of the 4th to score their 7th run of the game, their first against Pigott. After Diaz singled, Danny Figueroa sacrificed him over. Paco Figueroa then doubled to knock in Diaz and put Miami up 7-0.

"They are a good club," said Jeff Butts. "They kept building on the lead all night. They got a lot of hitters in scoring position and they were able to get them in all night."

Mississippi State finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 4th. Corley led off the inning with a single. After a strikeout, Joseph McCaskill singled. Jeff Butts doubled them in to make the score 7-2.

In their next at bat, the Bulldogs knocked Miami starting pitcher Brandon Camardese out of the game after Thomas Berkery and Brad Jones led the inning off with singles. Reliever Danny Gil walked Corley, then allowed an RBI single to Joseph Hunter. McCaskill hit into a double play, which scored Jones. Lefthander Andrew Lane, who was brought in in place of Gil, struck out Jeff Butts to end the inning.

"I thought that our kids put some good at-bats against (Camardese), but he's had the mumps and this was the first time he pitched in awhile," said Polk.

Miami roared back with a mammoth two-run home run by Ryan Braun, his 17th of the season, in the 6th and a solo home run in the 7th by Eddy Rodriguez to make the score 10-4, and, basically, put the game out of reach.

MSU threaten in the bottom of the 7th, putting men on 1st and 2nd with two outs, but McCaskill hit back to the pitcher for the final out of the inning.

"You need to take advantage of all the opportunities that you get against a ballclub like Miami," said Butts. "We got a few runs here or there, but we needed to take advantage of the other opportunities."

Lane shut the door in the 8th and 9th innings to give the Canes the victory.

MSU, which had 11 hits, was led at the plate by Hunter with 3 hits and Rea and Corley with 2 hits apiece.

Dunn was tagged with the loss for the Bulldogs. MSU used 5 pitchers, Dunn, Pigott, Saunders Ramsey, Eric Ebers and true freshman Mitch Moreland. The appearance by Moreland was his first activity on the mound this season.

"I have just been waiting my turn," said Moreland, of his first mound work during the season. "I got a chance tonight, whatever the reason was. I was a little shaky at first, but after I threw that first pitch, it was all history."

Brad Corley and Jeff Butts earned spots on the NCAA Coral Gables Baseball Regional All-Tournament team.

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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