No. 13 Miami Rallies Past No. 2 Tech Baseball, 7-6
Hurricanes score three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
March 28, 2003
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Ryan Braun's two-out, two-run double capped a three-run eighth inning rally as No. 13 Miami (21-4) defeated visiting Georgia Tech (21-3), 7-6, on Friday evening at Mark Light Stadium.
With the score tied at 4-4 through seven innings, both teams mounted rallies in the eighth inning. Micah Owings belted a two-run homer, his team-leading eighth of the season, to break the tie and give the Yellow Jackets a 6-4 lead in the top of the inning.
The Hurricanes responded with three runs in the bottom half of the eighth to retake the lead at 7-6. Jim Burt reached on a catcher's interference to lead off the inning, and Erick San Pedro followed with a single. After a sacrifice bunt from Adam Ricks mover the runners into scoring position, Alex Blanco drew a walk off Watchko to load the bases. Danny Figueroa drove in the first run of the inning when he was hit by a pitch. Tech reliever Aaron Walker nearly worked out of the jam by striking out Richard Giannotti for the second out of the inning, but Braun laced a double just inside the third base bag to drive in the tying and winning runs.
Miami's Israel Chirino (1-0) earned the win with one scoreless inning of relief. George Huget worked a perfect ninth inning to earn his third save of the season.
Tech reliever Jeff Watchko (2-1) took the loss, snapping an 11-decision winning streak dating to 2002.
The Hurricanes jumped to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on just one hit, but they were aided by two walks, a hit batsman and a catcher's interference. After Miami loaded the bases with one out, Ricks was hit by a pitch to plate Ryan Barton with the first run of the inning before Blanco drove in two runs with a single to right field. A solo home run from Braun, his team-leading eighth of the season, made the score 4-0 in the third inning.
Georgia Tech cut into the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth inning when the Yellow Jackets sent nine batters to the plate. A double from Matt Murton, single from Clifton Remole and walk to Mike Nickeas loaded the bases with no outs. Murton scored on Jeremy Slayden's RBI groundout, Remole scored on Miami shortstop Alex Blanco's fielding error, and Nickeas scored when Eric Patterson drew a bases loaded walk.
Tech's Tyler Greene tied the score at 4-4 with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning, his seventh of the season.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Miami's J.D. Cockroft worked seven innings and allowed six runs, while Tech's Kyle Bakker allowed four runs in two-plus innings.
Georgia Tech and Miami will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Both game will be televised by Fox Sports Net Florida, while Sunday's game will be televised by Fox Sports Net South. Radio coverage is available on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta), while live statistics and the radio broadcast are available on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.