Miami scores six runs after incident, win 12-7 over FIU
With all the questions surrounding his 2003 Miami Hurricane baseball team, head coach Jim Morris could not have asked for a better opening game.
The University of Miami started their season off right Wednesday night with a 12-7 victory against Florida International University in front of 4,032 fans at Mark Light Field. The Hurricanes gave the Golden Panthers their first loss of the season after FIU began the year with a 5-0 record
“The fact that they had played several games already was a concern to us,” Morris said. “It is always a concern when we are trying to get all our signs together and figure out who is playing where and they have already settled into a bit of a groove.”
Hurricane starting pitcher Dan Touchet did well in his first start of the season. The junior right-hander gave up five runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking two in 5.2 innings of work.
The Hurricane offense was in high gear as well. With a balanced diet of speed, hitting, and some controversial power, the ‘Canes built a 6-2 lead. Junior college transfer Adam Ricks capped off the onslaught by hitting a ball to right field that appeared to get caught in an advertising sign. The ball was ruled a home run by first base umpire Jeff Feldman.
Things turned sour for the Hurricanes in the top of the sixth inning however, when the UM bullpen surrendered five runs to the Golden Panther offense, and FIU took a 7-6 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
After recording the final out of the inning at home plate, UM catcher Erick San Pedro got into a shoving match with several FIU players. Both benches cleared and although the umpires and coaches prevented things from getting out of hand, FIU first baseman Brian Pullin and UM first baseman Jim Burt were tossed from the game as a result.
“It was a tough play at the plate,” San Pedro said. “Words were exchanged and some things happened but that is part of the game.”
Following the melee, Miami exploded for six runs, as the offense operated on all cylinders. When it was all said and done, the ‘Canes took a 12-7 lead, and J.D. Cockroft shut the door on FIU.
Ricks played a big part in the victory, driving in five runs.
“I just went out there and tried to stay relaxed,” Ricks said. “Things are going to happen but you have to stay focused to perform well. This was a big win for us.”
Morris attributed the victory to his offense, which put together 14 hits throughout the course of the contest.
“Our offense played an excellent game tonight,” Morris said. “This team is going to have to win a lot of games exactly the way they did tonight in order to go deep into the season.”
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