Wednesday, June 5, 1985
Bill Bates' home run in the twilight helped Texas defeat Miami 8-4 in the College World Series Wednesday night.
Bates' inside-the-park homer turned a 3-2 Miami lead into a 5-3 Texas advantage before 14,134 at Rosenblatt Stadium. The Longhorns' junior second baseman had two homers in the game, tying the College World Series record, and five RBIs.
With Texas sophomore left-hander Greg Swindell striking out 14, the Hurricanes couldn't catch up after Bates' second homer.
The victory propelled No. 3 Texas, 62-12, into the 7:10 game Friday night against fifth-ranked Mississippi State, 50-13, the only other club that is 2-0 in the tournament.
No. 6 Miami, 61-13, will play No. 2 Oklahoma State, 58-15, in an elimination game tonight at 7:10. Top-ranked Stanford, 47-14, will play No. 4 Arkansas, 50 - 14, in a 4:10 elimination game today.
Bates circled the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning after Miami center fielder Rick Richardi lost the flight of the ball.
Richardi, though he was playing shallow, thought he could have caught the ball if he had seen it.
"It was twilight, and in the twilight is the only time you can't see the ball," Richardi said. "If it was black, I probably would have caught it."
Texas Coach Cliff Gustafson said he could see that Richardi was running away from the ball.
Relay Too Late
Richardi headed toward right-center field while the ball fell deep slightly to the left of dead center. Right fielder Calvin James ran it down.
James' throw and second baseman Don Rowland's relay were too late to catch the sliding Bates at the plate.
The two homers gave Bates eight for the year.
Bates said tying the record "means a lot because I'm not a home run hitter."
Bates became the ninth player in tournament history to hit two homers in a game. Miami's Doug DeBold and Greg Ellena also tied the record in the 17-3 trouncing of Stanford last Saturday.
Bates, a 5-foot-7 All-American, hit his first homer right-handed off left-handed Miami starter Dan Davies. His second was hit left-handed off right-handed reliever Bob O'Brien.
Before the College World Series, Bates had batted left-handed all year except for four at-bats.
"Up to Coach Gus'
In the first round of the CWS, Bates batted right-handed while delivering the game-winning hit in the 2-1 victory over Arizona.
Still, he has not become strictly a switch-hitter.
"It's up to Coach Gus," Bates said.
Gustafson said he thought batting right-handed would be successful for Bates against a pitcher like Davies, who relies on an assortment of breaking pitches.
Bates' first homer, with the bases empty in the third, cleared the fence near the 370-foot sign in left field.
Bates, batting left-handed against O'Brien in the sixth, doubled off the left-field fence near the point where he had homered. That blow gave Bates his fifth RBI of the game.
Miami Coach Ron Fraser thought the Hurricanes' batting success in the first round might have been a disadvantage against Swindell.
"A Strong Closer'
"We were overswinging," Fraser said. "Swindell pitched just the way we told our players he would he tries to get you to chase fastballs away and that you better get to him early because he's a strong closer. That's just what happened."
Swindell won his 18th straight game and 19th in 20 decisions this year. He became the sixth pitcher in college history to win 19 games in a season.
Gustafson said Swindell's feat of winning his ballclub's first two games in the College World Series probably is a record. Swindell pitched the completegame victory over Arizona.
"I was tightening up in the fifth," Swindell said, "but I got my second wind around the seventh. I usually was able to come up with the big strikeout."
Swindell said he relied on his fastball because his curve "wasn't working." Swindell said he would be able to pitch in relief Friday "if they need me." He said he would be able to start again Sunday.
Miami took its 3-2 lead with the help of another misjudged drive.
Texas center fielder David Wrzensinski broke in on Jon Leake's liner leading off the fourth only to see the ball sail over his head for a double. The Hurricanes cashed the run and two more on a walk, a sacrifice, Rowland's single and Chris Hart's double.
But the Longhorns rallied to hand junior left-hander Davies, 15-2, his first defeat since Feb. 16.
Fraser tried some more pickoff trickery, similar to the "Grand Illusion" pickoff against Wichita State in 1982 when Miami won the national championship.
With runners on first and second in the seventh inning, reliever Sheffen Majer faked a pickoff throw that shortstop DeBold dived for while second baseman Rowland pursued the phantom ball into the outfield.
But Doug Hodo, who was on second base, wasn't fooled.
In the 1982 tournament, Miami used a similar trick play at first base and succeeded in retiring Wichita State basestealing star Phil Stephenson.
But this wasn't the Hurricanes' night.
"We played poorly," Fraser said. "Five errors give you a lot of problems."