Sunday, June 2, 1996
Miami stung top-seeded Alabama with a 10-run third inning Sunday afternoon that propelled the Hurricanes to a 15-1 College World Series victory.
The fifth-seeded Hurricanes sent 15 batters to the plate and got 11 hits in the big inning that left them in control of Bracket One in the double-elimination portion of the tournament at Rosenblatt Stadium.
Miami's win, before an estimated 18,000, assured the 49-13 Hurricanes of a spot in the Bracket One championship game. The Hurricanes will now take two days off to prepare for a Wednesday night meeting against the survivor of elimination play in the bracket.
"I can't ask more of this team that what it's done in the first two games," Miami Coach Jim Morris said. "We've played well, and I told them how well they've played when we met after the game.
"But we're in the same position that we were a year ago, when we won our first two games. We thought then that no one could beat us twice. We thought we were a shoo-in to get to the championship game. Southern Cal showed us we were wrong about that and beat us twice. We've done a lot since we've been here, but now this group has to do something even better than it's done before."
Alabama, a last-pitch winner against Oklahoma State in the first round, dropped to 50-18. The Crimson Tide next plays Clemson.
That game Tuesday will decide who will face Miami to decide a spot in Saturday's national championship game.
"It's one of those things that happen," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "They hit the ball well, and the ones they didn't hit well fell in. That happens. I'm just a little disappointed that we never came back and made at least a little run at them."
While Miami roughed up Alabama's staff for 16 hits, Hurricane starter J.D. Arteaga handcuffed the Crimson Tide for seven innings to improve to 12-1. The junior left-hander gave up four singles and a double, walked three and struck out five in an 89-pitch effort.
Alabama's only run came in the third on Joe Caruso's sacrifice fly. Arteaga, protecting a 3-1 lead at the time, stranded runners at second and third by striking out Alabama's Dax Norris, the Tide's leading hitter.
No other Alabama runner made it past second base off Arteaga, who has won 12 straight decisions since losing to Florida in his first start on Feb. 2.
Designated hitter Rick Saggese gave Arteaga a three-run cushion in the second inning when he launched a wind-aided, three-run homer into the bleachers in left-center field. Michael DeCelle led off the inning with a single off losing pitcher Joel Colgrove (10-3) and T.R. Marcinczyk walked.
After Alex Cora advanced the runners with a sacrifice, Saggese clubbed his 13th homer to get the Hurricanes' scoring parade started.
Alabama got one run back in its half of the third but the sky, in addition to rain, fell in on the Crimson Tide when Miami came to bat in its half of the third.
Miami second baseman Rudy Gomez opened the inning with a double, stole third and scored when Pat Burrell, the country's leading hitter, hit his 22nd homer of the season. Rivero singled and scored on DeCelle's double to make it 6-1.
After Marcinczyk struck out, seven straight Hurricanes reached base before DeCelle flied out to break the string. By then, Miami's advantage had mushroomed to 13-1.
"I got the ball up. I didn't throw it well and they hit it well," Alabama's Colgrove said.
"We never wanted that inning to end," Gomez said. "We just wanted to keep pouring it on. We wanted to get as much out of that inning as we could. I guess that's the killer instinct coming out."
Miami made it 14-1 in the fifth when Burrell doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout. Marcinczyk completed the Hurricanes' offensive onslaught when he hit his 11th homer with one out in the eighth.
Allan Westfall pitched two hitless innings to finish off the Crimson Tide, which has won 15 of its previous 16 games. The loss also stopped an eight-game winning streak for Alabama in postseason play.
— Steven Pivovar