Hello all Eye on the U faithful, this is Andre Fernandez filling in for
"moving" Manny Navarro. I'd like to thank everyone who participated here over the weekend. It was hot, but it was definitely fun. By all means, we'd love to have you check out the high school sports blog on miamiherald.com/hssports. Me, Larry Blustein, Manny will continue bringing you updates on football recruiting in the 305, while Patrick Dorsey, Larry, Manny and Bob bring you the 954 and 561.
The Road to Omaha continued as the University of Miami clinched a berth in next weekend's Super Regionals with an 11-2 win over Mississippi. The Hurricanes will host either Arizona or Kentucky. Below is a recap of Sunday's action.
NO. 1 MIAMI 11, NO. 3 MISSISSIPPI 2
The starting pitching matchup was UM's LHP Eric Erickson (7-1, 62 2/3 IP, 56 Ks, 12 BB, 4.31 ERA) vs. Ole Miss LHP Nathan Baker (3-5, 51 IP, 40 Ks, 18 BB, 4.41 ERA). UM was the road team.
1st inning - Miami 3, Ole Miss 2: UM struck first on a double down the left field line by Jemille Weeks that scored Blake Tekotte, who had reached on a bunt single. Weeks moved over to third on a fly ball by Yonder Alonso, then scored on a ground out by Mark Sobolewski. Ryan Jackson then smacked a solo home run off the scoreboard. In the bottom of the inning, Eric Erickson got the first two outs, but then gave up a 2-run dinger to left center field to Cody Overbeck. Sobolewski came up with a great diving stop that robbed Michael Guerrero of a hit to end the inning.
2nd inning - Miami 4, Ole Miss 2: Solid base running by Tekotte earned UM another run. After reaching on a fielder's choice, he stole second and advanced to third when the throw from home went into center field. Weeks delivered again with an RBI single to left. With one out in the bottom half, Zach Miller doubled off the right field wall. Miller ran on what looked like a wild pitch, but Yasmani Grandal gobbled it up and gunned him down at 3rd. Tim Ferguson then grounded out to short.
3rd inning - Miami 7, Ole Miss 2: Dennis Raben broke an 0-for-10 slump in this regional by belting a 2-run home run over the retired numbers in right center field. Ole Miss brought in one of its best relievers, Justin Cryer (1.30 ERA, .198 opp. avg.). Jason Hagerty singled to right and Yasmani Grandal doubled down the right field line to extend UM's lead to 7-2. Erickson gave up a leadoff single to Basham, but came back with a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
4th inning - Miami 7, Ole Miss 2: Canes went down quietly. Alonso struck out looking. Sobolewski flied to right, and Jackson grounded to 1st. Erickson struck out Overbeck. Guerrero reached on a line drive single that Weeks had a hard time handling at second. But Weeks came back and started a 4-6-3 double play on the next at-bat to end the inning.
5th inning - Miami 7, Ole Miss 2: Dennis Raben looks like he's breaking out of his recent funk. He doubled to right field. He was stranded at second, though, when Hagerty struck out and Grandal popped up to 2nd. Zach Miller reached on an error at 1st by Alonso. Erickson recorded the next three outs in order on two grounders and a fly out to right.
6th inning - Miami 7, Ole Miss 2: Cryer has settled down. He got Tekotte, Weeks and Alonso on fly ball outs. Erickson got through pretty smooth again also. He gave up a walk to Logan Power, but got Overbeck to ground into a fielder's choice and struck out Michael Guerrero.
7th inning - Miami 7, Ole Miss 2: Sobolewski walked, but Ryan Jackson hit into a double play that he nearly ran out at 1st base. Dave DiNatale grounded out to third to end the inning. Erickson kept rolling along in the bottom of the inning, striking out Matt Smith, forcing Miller to fly out to center. Ferguson doubled, but Basham lined out to left field.
8th inning - Miami 8, Ole Miss 2: Raben walked to start the inning. Two batters later, Tekotte hit a triple to right field that scored Raben to add to UM's lead. Kyle Bellamy came in in relief of Erickson. He got Jordan Henry and Logan Power out on grounders to short and struck out Fuller Smith.
Final - Miami 11, Ole Miss 2: Canes tack on three more, highlighted by Jason Hagerty's 2-run double to right field that scored Dennis Raben and Ryan Jackson. Carlos Gutierrez closed it out despite some minor trouble. He got Overbeck and Guerrero to fly out. After walking Cullan Kight and hitting Miller with a pitch, he got Tim Ferguson to fly out to right.
NO. 3 MISSISSIPPI 9, NO. 2 MISSOURI 6.
1st inning - Ole Miss 0, Missouri 0: Bukvich walked Mizzou RF Greg Folgia, but retired the next 3 hitters in order. LF Aaron Senne drove one near the wall, but Miss. LF Logan Power made a nice catch before it went over his head. For Ole Miss, RF Jordan Henry led off with a single to right field. He got as far as second base on a ground ball out, but was left there after Power popped up in the infield and 3B Cody Overbeck struck out swinging.
2nd inning - Ole Miss 0, Missouri 0: Both pitchers are cruising. In the top half, Bukvich got a pop-up in the infield again, a strikeout and a fly ball to center. In the bottom half, Berger struck out the side, including Ole Miss CF Michael Guerrero, who had 2 HR in an inning yesterday.
3rd inning - Ole Miss 0, Missouri 0: Bukvich got them in order again, striking out Mizzou SS Andrew Thigpen and 2B Greg Folgia. Berger gave up a single to Ole Miss SS Tim Ferguson, but after he was moved into scoring position on a sac bunt by C Brett Basham, he was stranded at third after Jordan Henry grounded out and Fuller Smith popped up to short right.
4th inning - Ole Miss 0, Missouri 0: Other than that leadoff walk in the first, Bukvich has been perfect. He retired Mizzou's LF Aaron Senne and RF Jacob Priday on ground outs, and struck out C Trevor Coleman. He has 5 Ks so far. Ole Miss put together the first real threat, but came up short. Overbeck walked with one out, then after Guerrero flied out, Matt Smith singled to center. But 2B Zach Miller grounded into an inning-ending fielder's choice as Smith was forced out at 2nd.
5th inning - Missouri 4, Ole Miss 4: After not allowing a hit through the first four innings, Bukvich was knocked out after four runs came across for the Tigers. 3B Kyle Mach delivered the first big hit with a bloop single to left that brought in Dan Pietroburgo. Folgia then doubled to left to drive in 1B Steve Gray. Ryan Lollis hit a high-bouncing grounder that got past SS Tim Ferguson allowing two more runs to score. Ole Miss brought in All-SEC righty Scott Bittle (1.63 ERA) to pitch and he got them out of the inning. The Rebels then answered back in the bottom half. Four consecutive hits, including three doubles by Ferguson, Henry and Fuller Smith cut the lead to 4-3. After Missouri brought in reliever Ryan Allen, Ole Miss' Cody Overbeck singled to left, scoring Smith to tie the game. Allen struck out Matt Smith and Zach Miller to end the inning.
6th inning - Ole Miss 4, Missouri 4: Bittle walked a couple of batters, but struck out the side around them in the top of the inning. Ole Miss went quietly in the bottom half as Ferguson and Basham struck out and Henry grounded out to short.
7th inning - Ole Miss 5, Missouri 4: Bittle is living up to the hype, striking out Mach and Folgia and getting Kurt Calvert to ground out 1-3. Fuller Smith roped a double over RF Jacob Priday's head to start the bottom of the inning. A batter later, Cody Overbeck brought him home with line drive to center field. Ole Miss left a couple of runners on.
8th inning - Ole Miss 9, Missouri 6: The Tigers retook the lead on some alert base running. Jacob Priday, who had been 1 for 11 for the regional reached on an infield single to shortstop. He then stole second. Dan Pietroburgo singled to left to score Priday and tie it. Pietroburgo, who comes up every time to that cool Irish music you hear at the beginning of the movie "The Departed," stole his first base of the year. He then came around to score the go-ahead run when Steve Gray hit a slow roller to short and beat the throw to 1st. Kyle Gibson, who gave up the game-winner to UM last night, came in to pitch for Mizzou. Ole Miss made it another forgettable day for him. The Rebels loaded the bases when Ferguson singled and Jordan Henry and Fuller Smith each walked. Then Logan Power (great baseball name) crushed a pitch off the scoreboard for a grand slam to give Ole Miss a 9-6 edge.
Final - Ole Miss 9, Missouri 6: Bittle wrapped it up with strike outs of Folgia, Calvert and Aaron Senne. Ole Miss plays UM next.