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UM baseball coach Jim Morris wanted very badly for the Heat to win Wednesday. Can't blame him...

   University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris, a fan of many sports, was watching the Heat game with extra interest Wednesday night.

  Morris wanted the Heat to win as much as any Miami fan – probably more.

   Because Miami lost to Indiana, the Heat are back home to play the Pacers at the AmericanAirlinesArena at 8:30 p.m. Friday for what could be the deciding game in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

   Morris’ top-seeded Hurricanes (41-17) open their NCAA Coral Gables Regional play at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 4 seed Bethune-CookmanUniversity (26-31).

   Morris told me he has already talked to folks who have season tickets for the Heat and Hurricanes. He said they told him they'll be at the Heat game Friday night and back at Alex Rodriguez Park on Saturday for the double-elimination regional. 

     “I hope we have a great crowd,’’ Morris said during a news conference Thursday afternoon. "Last night I was pulling really, really hard for the Heat. And now they’re matching up against us… And that does make a difference in this city. It’s a big city but it makes a difference. These people have finally figured out what basketball is all about.

   “When I came to Miami I had a TV show. The basketball coach did not have one, just to give you a comparison. They’ve really caught on fire the last couple years and it does make a difference. Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd for everybody. It would be a fun atmosphere to be in.’’

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   Miami left-handed junior Chris Diaz was named a Louisville Slugger first-team All-American Thursday. Diaz is 9-0 with a 2.31 ERA. The Canes won every 2014 regular-season game started by Diaz.

    Diaz, who has a career record of 18-6 with a 2.25 ERA, is the 10th Hurricane in UM history to be named to the Louisville Slugger first team.

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   Get well soon to Columbia ace pitcher David Speer (7-2, 1.86), who had emergency appendectomy surgery on Monday and is unable to play in the regional with his Lions. Speer is a senior, and that has to be a heartbreaker for the left-hander and his team. He’s also the Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, having led the nation with four shutouts.

   The No. 3 seed Lions ( 29-18) will go with right-handed sophomore George Thanopoulos (5-2, 2.81) to face No. 2 seed Texas Tech (40-18) at 2 p.m. Friday at Alex RodriguezPark.

     SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

     

  

   

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