The UM baseball team did itself a huge favor by upsetting the No. 1 team in the nation last night -- the Virginia Cavaliers.
The 16th-ranked Canes (32-16, 17-7 ACC) scored five runs in the first inning and defeated UVA 6-2 in Charlottesville in front of a sellout crowd.
As UM baseball fans know, UM is only 4-9 against ranked teams this season, so this victory was very, very big. Kudos to the Canes, who beat arguably the top pitcher in college baseball and a sure first-rounder in the upcoming draft (Danny Hultzen). That was only the Cavs' SIXTH loss all season. They're 43-6 and 20-5 in ACC.
Last year I covered the series in Miami, and UM won the opener and lost the other two. If the Canes can win today at noon or in Sunday's finale, and wrap up the season nicely at home next week (followed by a decent showing in ACC tourney), they should feel much more secure about hosting a regional.
Today's game is the “ACC Game of the Week” televised on Fox Sports. Eric Whaley (7-3, 2.99 ERA) will pitch for the Hurricanes, while Virginia goes with Tyler Wilson (5-0, 2.85 ERA).
From UM sports information on Friday night's UM pitching performance.
B-RADical on the mound
Making his 13th start of the year – and his second against a top-ranked opponent, freshman left-hand pitcher Bryan Radziewski earned his eighth win of the year, and the first against a top five team. Radziewski pitched seven innings against the Cavaliers, allowing just two runs (one earned) on four hits scattered, one walk and striking out seven UVa batters.
For Radziewski, the performance was his seventh quality start of the year, while the Hurricanes moved to 10-3 on the season when he toes the rubber.
TENNIS TEAMS ADVANCE
Congratulations to Paige Yaroshuk-Tews and Mario Rincon, two really fine coaches and people.
FIRST, THE FIFTH-RANKED WOMEN
Yaroshuk-Tews won her 200th match Friday at UM when her women defeated FIU in the NCAA regional opener 4-0. UM plays Texas at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on UM campus (it's right next to the Hecht Center) at 11 a.m. today for the right to advance to the Sweet 16 that begins late next week at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.
For those that don't know, the UM women are the nation's fifth-ranked team, making the Canes women's tennis team the highest ranked team of any UM sport.
I will be at UM covering tennis today.
NOW, THE 27th RANKED MEN
UM's men also will play in an NCAA regional final today -- against the Florida Gators at 3 p.m. at Linder Stadium on the University of Florida’s campus. The Gators are ranked eighth.
UM advanced to the final by defeating Nebraska 4-3 on Friday. Freshman Gabriel Flores had a hard-fought match, winning 7-6 (8-6), 4-6 and 6-2 at the No. 5 position. Flores clinched the victory.
UM's singles victors: Flores, Christian Blocker, Eduardo Pavia and Diego Soto.
TRACK AND FIELD
Devon Hill, a junior hurdler, outraced 11 other athletes at the North Florida Invitational in Jacksonville Friday in the 110-meter hurdles and will compete this afternoon in the final. Hill, an exceptional athlete, had his best time of the season and would have tied the school's all-time record had the result not been wind-aided. His time: 13.65 seconds.
Freshman Bassim El-Sabawi had a personal best in the 100-meter dash, finishing in 10.67 seconds.
As for the football players (had to get football in here!), (receiver) Travis Benjamin, (cornerback) Brandon McGee and (tailback) Lamar Miller will make up three of the four-member 4X100m relay team that competes today at 2 p.m. Hill or El-Sabawi will run the remaining leg as the Canes want to better their season-best time of 40.56 seconds so they can qualify for the NCAA East preliminary round, which will be at Indiana University May 26-28.
WATERFIELD JOINS CANES FAMILY
From UM Sports Information folks:
Director of Athletics Shawn Eichorst announced the hiring of Steve Waterfield to the position of Senior Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Planning at the University of Miami.
"I am extremely pleased that Steve will be joining our senior management team at the U," said Eichorst. "I have had the great pleasure of working with him the past five years and he is one of the most talented and well-respected young administrators in college athletics."
Waterfield will join the senior management team within the athletics department and will have the following primary responsibilities:
- Sport oversight of men's and women's basketball
- Strategic operations
- Facilities and maintenance
- Departmental policies and procedures
- Capital projects and construction
- Sports medicine and drug testing
Waterfield joins UM after seven years at the University of Wisconsin (UW), where he served under Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez and with Eichorst on senior staff for three years. Before departing UW, Waterfield was an associate athletics director for student services and oversaw compliance, academic services, sports medicine, drug testing, student-athlete discipline, departmental policies, coordinated department head meetings, direct sport oversight of men's and women's soccer and the men's and women's swimming and diving programs. Waterfield came to UW after spending five years as an assistant director of compliance at Ohio State University.
-- SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN