Saturday, June 1, 1985
Miami unleashed a record-setting display of power to pound No. 1-ranked Stanford 17 - 3 in the College World Series.
The Hurricanes hit five home runs out of Rosenblatt Stadium, breaking the record of four set by Arizona State in a 12-3 trouncing of Texas June 7, 1981.
"If you hit a ball real well, it goes out," Miami Coach Ron Fraser said, "and some balls were hit real well."
Rusty DeBold, one of two Miami players who hit two homers, said he thought his second one would reach only the warning track.
DeBold, a 5-foot-9, 158-pound shortstop, tied the CWS record for total bases. He went four for four with a double and single to go with his two homers for 11 total bases.
Designated hitter Greg Ellena knocked two home runs, both hit hard.
Much of Miami's power display came at the expense of Jeff Ballard, Stanford's second - team All-America lefthander.
Ellena's first homer, over the 370-foot sign in left-center field, opened a 7-1 Miami lead and knocked Ballard out of the game.
DeBold and Ellena tied the College World Series record for most homers in a game. They are the seventh and eighth to hit two.
DeBold's total bases tied the 11 set by Pete Naton of Holy Cross in a 15-3 victory over Western Michigan June 15, 1952.
First baseman Chris Hart hit the fifth Miami homer, a fly that cleared the right field fence just inside the foul pole, with two on in the eighth to score the final runs of the game.
In addition to the three homers off Ballard, Ellena greeted reliever Kevin Kunkel with his second of the game and 13th of the year and Hart connected off David Harris.
Even a 17-3 game has a key play, and both coaches agreed that it came in the fourth inning with the score tied 1-1.
Miami left fielder Mike Fiore preserved that score by throwing out Walt Harris at the plate. Harris was trying to score from second base on Toi Cook's single. Fiore threw the ball all the way in the air to catcher Julio Solis.
Umpire Gus Steiner ruled Solis tagged Harris out.
Harris questioned the call.
"I felt I was safe," Harris said, "because I didn't feel a tag at all. But the umpire must have seen something."
Stanford Coach Mark Marquess emphasized the importance of the play.
"If we had scored there, it would have been 2-1, and we would have had runners on second and third with one out," Marquess said.
"It could have made it a different game."
Fraser agreed when he was asked about it.
"That was a key," Fraser said. "It was a bang - bang play."
Miami found power from a source Ballard didn't suspect in DeBold, who had hit only three home runs before the College World Series.
He has played in 66 games for the sixth-ranked Hurricanes, now 60-15.
The right-handed batting DeBold, a transfer from Brevard Junior College, said he pulled his three previous homers. The two off Ballard were to right field.
Ballard retired the first six Miami batters with the help of some outstanding defensive plays before De-Bold homered to open the third.
The high drive cleared a billboard to the left of the 370-foot sign. His second homer, also a towering poke, was over the fence to the right of the billboard that extends above the right field fence.
The game began with the wind out of the south at 14 miles per hour and later was blowing out of the north at 15-25 miles per hour.
At times, the wind blew to right field.
Marquess said Miami got the ball up into the wind but did not specify which homers he thought were attributed directly to the wind.
Ballard, making his third start in nine days, said he didn't feel as strong as usual.
"Even if you're not strong," he said, "you can make good pitches to locations. They hit my mistakes."
Ballard's record dipped to 14-3.
Stanford right fielder Cook and left fielder Harris made dazzling catches to erase potential hits in the first inning.
Stanford failed to cash leadoff doubles off Miami pitcher Kevin Sheary in the first and second innings.
Sheary, boosting his record to 5-4 with seven strong innings before being relieved, didn't retire the side in order until the fifth.
DeBold's second homer had broken a 1-1 tie and given him a 4-1 lead.
"After letting the leadoff batter get on in the first four innings," Sheary said, "I decided I better go to work and prevent them from coming back after we had gone ahead."