Sunday, June 13, 1999 • Box score
If Miami comes up with more pitching performances like Sunday's at the College World Series, the Hurricanes might render current NCAA studies on toning down metal bats moot.
Starter Alex Santos and reliever Michael Neu held Alabama eight runs under its average in UM's 8-1 victory before an estimated 14,000 fans at Rosenblatt Stadium, breaking the Crimson Tide's 16-game winning streak.
Santos (12-3) gave up just four hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings. When the junior All-American got in a two-on, two-out jam in the seventh with the score 8-1, fellow junior All-American Neu came on.
He walked Alabama hitting star Andy Phillips - who had singled in the sixth to extend his Southeastern Conference-record hitting streak to 35 games - to load the bases. Then Neu got Crimson Tide cleanup hitter G.W. Keller to fly out to end the threat.
Neu allowed only one hit in the final two innings to get his 14th save.
The win moved first- and second-ranked Miami (48-13) to a Bracket One winner's game Wednesday night. Seventh-ranked Alabama (52-15) slipped into the loser's round Tuesday afternoon. The Tide hadn't lost since May 2 at Mississippi.
The first 3 1/2 innings were scoreless but weren't without action.
Alabama threatened to score twice early with the help of dropped fly balls.
In the second inning, Keller singled and moved to second when Miami center fielder Brian Seever lost Crimson Tide catcher Kelley Gulledge's fly ball in the sun. But Santos got Alabama's Darren Wood to ground into a double play to end the inning.
In the fourth, a walk and Miami left fielder Mike Rodriguez's bobble of a fly ball put Alabama runners at first and second.
Santos wiggled out of the mess by inducing a fly ball that was caught.
The Hurricanes' best early threat came in the second when first baseman Kevin Brown hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a two-out error.
He was stranded then but made sure he got all the way around in the fourth by banging a first-pitch-of-the-inning home run off the left-field foul pole.
Miami manufactured its second run in the fifth inning. With two outs, Seever walked and moved to third on right fielder Manny Crespo's single.
Crespo then intentionally wandered off first base to get caught in a rundown. As Alabama worked to tag him out, Seever zipped home from third to put Miami up 2-0.
The Crimson Tide cut the gap to 2-1 in the sixth when Phillips singled and scored on Keller's double off the fence in left. But Santos struck out the next three hitters to hold the lead for the Hurricanes.
Miami went up 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth on third baseman Lale Esquivel's bloop double to short right and Rodriguez's humpback liner to short left.
Miami got three insurance runs in the seventh. Two came on bases-loaded walks - one from starter Manny Torres and one from reliever Jonathan Blankenship. The Hurricanes added two more in the eighth on run-scoring hits from Crespo and Esquivel.
- Lee Barfknecht