Here's a quick preview of what could be in store next Wednesday, National Signing Day.
> NOTE: I wore the old Cubs jersey in honor of the late great Ernie Banks.
Florida Gulf Coast, from, ahem, the Gulf Coast, is here.
This is the final non-conference regular season game of the season for Jim Morris' bunch as they close this weekend with Virginia before heading off to North Carolina for the ACC tournament.
Will have updates throughout tonight's game -- so check back.
-- In basketball news, the Canes just announced that they will play UCF in the annual Orange Bowl Classic at the Panthers arena in Sunrise on Dec. 18.
This is the 16th time in the event's 17 year history that the Hurricanes are taking part. Florida is scheduled to play Kansas State in the other half of the doubleheader.
Game times will be announced later, but expect the Canes to be the appetizer to the Gators-Wildcats at BankAtlantic Center.
Miami is 6-0 all time against the Orlando Knights, with the last meeting coming in 2002.
Donnie Jones will be in his first season with UCF when the two teams play. The Knights went 15-17 last year.
-- Here's what happened in the good old ball game:
David Villasuso and Frankie Ratcliff both had big ninth inning hits lifting UM to a 5-4 win over Florida Gulf Coast. The Hurricanes have won 17 straight at Mark Light Field.
With one out in the ninth and Zeke DeVoss at first, Villasuso – Miami's backup catcher – doubled off the wall in right allowing DeVoss to score the game-tying run.
“I thought it had a chance, but it hit off the wall,'' Villasuso said afterward. “You can't go for the fence, you just have to put the barrel on the ball. I was looking for a fastball and got it.''
Villasuso then moved to third on a wild pitch and was able to walk home when Ratcliff singled to right to end it.
“Every game right now is big because it has ramifications when it comes to the NCAA tournament,'' said coach Jim Morris, whose team lost two of three at Georgia Tech this past weekend. “I wasn't excited about our energy coming out, but I'm real excited about winning it in the ninth.''
Florida Gulf Coast, located about two hours northwest of Fort Lauderdale in Lee County, had rallied from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth before Miami rallied.
UM (38-13) was cruising along until the top of the sixth when the Eagles (34-18) scored twice to cut Miami's lead to 3-2. Gulf Coast tied the score in the seventh on a sacrifice fly.
Luke Smierciak doubled to lead off the ninth and scored on an throwing error. Alex Lozada put down a perfect bunt along the third base line and UM's Harold Martinez rushed his throw. The ball ended up in foul territory – Smierciak ended up coming home with the go-ahead run.
Miami opened the scoring in the first when starting catcher Yasmani Grandal hit a two-out homer in the first. In the third, Ratcliff tripled and scored on Scott Lawson's grounder. Stephen Perez made it 3-0 in the fifth with a solo homer to right field.
The Hurricanes play host to top-ranked Virginia in the final series of the regular season starting on Thursday.
Also, here is a story written by one of Luke's friends in Indiana. Very personal read. You can get it off this link.
Luke T. DeBold, age 29 of Dyer, passed away Thursday, April 29, 2010
after a courageous two year battle with cancer.
He is survived by his
parents: Thomas and Kay DeBold of Dyer; sister, Dawn DeBold of Dyer;
grandfather, Lawrence DeBold of East Chicago; and aunt, Jeanne (Robert)
Mis of Whiting. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 4, 2010
DIRECTLY at St. Joseph Church, Dyer, at 10:00 a.m. with a Mass of
Christian Burial. Rev. Terry Steffens officiating. Burial will follow at
St. John/St. Joseph Cemetery, Hammond.
Friends may call at the
Burns-Kish Funeral Home, 8415 Calumet Ave., Munster, In for visitation
on Monday, May 3, 2010 from 2:00-8:00 p.m. Prayer service at 7:00 p.m.
Luke was a lifelong resident of Dyer. He was a purchasing agent for
Praire Concrete Co. He was Valedictorian of Andrean High School Class of
1998 and member of Baseball Hall of Fame of Andrean High School.
was a 2002 graduate of the University of Miami Florida with a degree in
Business Management. He was a candidate for induction to the University
of Miami Baseball Hall of Fame. Luke was a member of Championship Team
in Baseball College World Series in 1999 and 2001.
He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the American Cancer Society would be appreciated.
We're in the bottom of the first, no score. Eric "Craig" Erickson pitching for Miami today.
Alfredo Rodriguez, whose dad played was a shortstop at Miami from 1978-79, led off Saturday's game with a homer to left off the first pitch.
Today, he smacked Erickson's first pitch to the wall in left -- on the first pitch. He almost cleared it too. He ended up stranded at third.
Check in throughout the day for score updates. The game is also being broadcast on WVUM 90.5 and Joe Zagacki has the call on WQAM 560.
-- The Canes finally solve Maryland starter Sander Beck in the fourth, then he leaves after cramping up with two outs in the inning. With bases loaded and two outs, Nathan Melendres lines a shot off the shortstop and two runs come through. Zeke DeVoss strikes out swinging to end the threat.
Erickson lasted three innings, giving up two hits with three strikeouts.
Travis Miller starts his second inning here in the fifth.
-- Miami picks up two more runs in the sixth inning (one ongoing) after Michael Broad ripped a shot into right field to score Chris Pelaez. Broad then went to second on a wild pitch, took third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
-- After Maryland scored in the top of the seventh, Miami all but ended this one when Chris Pelaez crushed a pitch over the Big Cheese sign in right. That was with the bases loaded. Grand slam. 8-1. The Canes added another run as well.
Well, that's it. Canes improve to 34-11 and 18-6 in the ACC after sweeping the Terps (15-33, 4-20). Miami has won five straight since losing two of three in Tallahassee last weekend and 13 straight at The Light.
Barry comes south on Friday for a two game set.
See you then.
Maryland center fielder Matt Marquis was injured in the third inning of Saturday's game at Mark Light Field in Coral Gables after he and left fielder Jon Wilson both dove for a dropping ball at the same time and collided.
The game has been stopped for more than 10 minutes as the Terps gather in center. Marquis has been on the ground motionless, although a Maryland spokesman says the sophomore is alert and awake and they are taking him to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.
According to that same Maryland spokesman, Marquis was taken to the UM Medical Center at Cedars.
A City of Coral Gables ambulance arrived and parked beyond the right field fence; emergency crews came onto the field around 8:03 p.m. and are putting him on a backboard. The crowd at the park gave Marquis a warm ovation as he was lifted up on the stretcher and taken off the field through the fence in four territory on the right field side.
The two outfielders collided going for a ball hit off the bat of Miami second baseman Frankie Ratcliff. The ball got through and Ratcliff ended at second with one out in the inning. Maryland (15-31) led Miami 3-2 at the time of the incident.
Not going to do a LIVE! blog or anything like that, but feel free to check up on the score throughout the night. When something happens -- hey! There went the MetroRail! -- I will post it here.
-- Maryland takes a quick 1-0 lead as leadoff man Alfredo Rodriguez took Jason Santana's first offering and deposited past the left field wall.
That was the third homer the Terps A-Rod had hit on the first pitch of the game -- and all five of his taters this year have come in the first inning. But then Maryland went down in order so that was that.
-- B1: The Canes come right back and lead 2-1 after getting two runs in the frame. With one out, Frankie Ratcliff walked, then raced home when Yasmani Grandal laced a liner past the first baseman into right field. Scott Lawson scored from third on Harold Martinez's sacrifice fly to center.
So there you go...Again, check back throughout the night.
I'll be here for Sunday's noon matinee as well. Same deal.
-- T2: The Terps are hitting Santana hard, with back-to-back doubles here giving Maryland a 3-2 lead. Canes end a threat when Gary Schneider gets caught trying to steal third base.
-- OK, Maryland outfielder Matt Marquis has been taken to the hospital after colliding with teammate Jon Wilson. Read more about that here.
After that, the Hurricanes loaded the bases with a pair of walks and tied the score 3-3 when Harold Martinez flew out to center. Wilson, the new CF, then fired to third and caught Scott Lawson to end the inning. But the run scores, and Miami ties it.
On to the fourth.
This game is taking forever...
-- B4: Miami retakes the lead 4-3 after Michael Broad hits into a 6-4-3 double play allowing Chris Pelaez to score from third...
--B7: Miami tags on a run when Stephen Perez made it 5-3 in the seventh by scoring on an error with two outs.
Canes got a strong performance out of starter Jason Santana.
Santana left the bullpen alone until the eighth as he put the Terps down in order in the fourth and sixth innings and spread three hits over his final five innings of work as he struck out seven and left four runners stranded.
Maryland three runs off four hits in the first two innings.
--B8: Canes add another run in the eighth as Zeke DeVoss steals third with two outs and comes home on single to left from Stephen Perez.
--T9: Terps get a solo shot with two outs in the 9th, but that's it. Canes win.
Drive careful y'all.
See you tomorrow.