Good evening from Alex Rodriguez Park, where the gray clouds are indeed ominous.
The Canes, who finally broke out the bats against Bethune-Cookman this afternoon, are on the field being announced now for their do-or-die 7 p.m. showdown with the Texas Tech Raiders.
UM defeated Bethune-Cookman 10-0 this afternoon, eliminating the Wildcats and leaving just the Canes and Red Raiders in the regional.
If Texas Tech (42-18) beats UM tonight, the Red Raiders will claim their first NCAA regional championship and advance to a super regional next weekend.
If UM (43-18) defeats Texas Tech tonight, the teams will meet again in a winner-takes-all regional championship game at 7 p.m. Monday.
The Canes finally broke out their bats in the first game, garnering 10 hits, including ACC Freshman of the Year Zack Collins' two home runs that drove in five runs. Now Collins is tied with Mike Papi of Virginia with 11 home runs.
And left-handed senior pitcher Bryan Radziewski was spectacular in allowing only three hits in nine innings for the shutout. Radziewski raised his record to 8-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.86.
UM still hasn't used many of its relievers, and the ones who have thrown have been used sparingly. Closer Bryan Garcia hasn't even pitched this tournament.
"Our bullpen is in great shape,'' Morris said after this afternoon's victory. "Woodrey threw an inning and a third last night and Cooper [Hammond] threw a little bit. [Javi] Salas is going to pitch tonight. ..We need a good outing out of him. I'm very confident he could pitch and do the things he needs to do. He's a senior and a guy that needs to get it down and step up.''
Pitching for Texas Tech: right-hander Ryan Moseley (1-2, 3.86 ERA)
If UM wins tonight, I, unfortunately, will have to miss the championship game Monday night. My son is graduating from high school at 7 p.m. I'll have my phone charged up and ready to go!
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN