June 13, 2006

Oxford: Resiliant 'Canes

Just a couple of hours after the end of the ballgame, I don't think that it has sunk in that Miami pulled off a win 14-9, on a night in which they blew 3 leads yet still found a way to win. Looking at the 8 teams, it's very easy to eliminate Miami as the team that doesn't fit with the other 7, but they are on one magical ride. Everything has come together at the right time, and they just don't quit.

The Hurricanes play an exciting brand of baseball, they will bunt, steal and drive teams crazy. Just when you want to blurt out that they are a small-ball team, right then they nail you with a long ball. It will probably be the pitching that does in Miami, as the starting staff doesn't really exist past Scott Maine and Danny Gil, but just the pure fact that they have gotten this far, to Omaha in what was called a rebuilding year. There were points in this season where people didn't even know if Miami would be able to get into the regionals. Now not only did they get there, they won on the road back to back weekends.

It becomes the first time Miami advanced to the CWS when winning the super regional on the road. It was also the first time Miami ever won a third and decisive game in the super regionals, they had been 0-2 before tonight's game.

The Canes will be the underdog in Omaha, but the experience that the youngsters will get this coming week is something that you just can't teach them. Miami is looking real good in the years ahead, and once you get to the big dance, you never know what can happen.

It's been a great two weeks, and i can't believe i'm going to pack my bags for Omaha when i return to Miami tomorrow. It will be an exciting week, the third great week in a row. Thanks to all the readers out there, it's been great to cover it all.

Doug Kroll
Miami Hurricane

June 12, 2006

Oxford: Miami advances to CWS

Miami 14, Ole Miss 9, Final
Hurricanes advance to College World Series.
For more coverage, check out www.oxfordeagle.com Tuesday afternoon.
Take care
Chris Kieffer
Assistant Sports Editor
The Oxford Eagle

Oxford: Wild fans

Game stopped in eighth inning after Ole Miss fans in right field threw objects at Miami RF Tommy Giles. Security officer picks up silver can on the warning track.

Oxford: Big inning for Miami

The atmosphere is subdued in Oxford after Miami scored five runs in the seventh inning.
Tommy Giles singled up the middle with two outs to put the Hurricanes on top 9-8 and after Jon JAy was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to load the bases, Miami's Danny Valencia hit a grand slam.
Jay has reached base five times and scored four and and Valencia has seven home runs.
Miami players jumped up and down at home plate and an Ole Miss player ran out of the dugout with words before he was stopped by coaches.
As OM players ran off the field and then came to the plate, the crowd cheered, but it was subdued.

Oxford: Speed on the bases

Miami back on top, 8-7 entering the seventh.
Miami's Jon Jay stole second and third on OM reliever Garrett White's first two pitches. On Jay's steal of third, OM 3B missed the throw from OM catcher Justin Brashear. The ball went into LF for an error on Coghlan that scored Jay with the go-ahead run.
Coghlan now at the plate.
Home run.
Tie game.

Oxford: Tie game

Miami's Tommy Giles led off the sixth with a single, went to second on Jon Jay's infield hit and to third on an error and scored on a sac fly by Danny Valencia.
Giles, who was involved in a heated play two innings ago, was booed as he crossed the plate.
Garrett White just replaced Will Kline on the mound for Ole Miss.
In the bottom of the sixth, it's 7-7. Miami has a runner on 1B with one out.

Oxford: Back for more

Will Kline just took the mound again for Ole Miss in the bottom of the sixth. Kline threw 63 pitches Saturday and has thrown 30 today.
Miami's Tommy Giles is at the plate and is being booed after the earlier incident.

Oxford: Fighting angry

Tense situation in the bottom of the fourht.
Miami had runners on the corners with one out when Dennis Raben bounced a ground ball up the middle. OM pitcher Will Kline fielded and threw the ball home to start a rundown that eventually retired Miami's Tommy Giles, the runner from third. Giles, who was just getting up after slipping when he was tagged, felt like Kline pushed him on the tag. Giles said something to Kline and players ran out of both dugouts before they were stopped by the umpire. Miami coach Jim Morris argued with the umpire and fans booed before the game resumed.
Kline then used consecutive changeups to strikeout Yonder Alonso and strand runners on second and third. Kline was greeted by jubilant teammates as he ran into the dugout.
Top 5 OM leads 7-6.

Oxford: Ole Miss grabs first lead

Crowd rises in ovation as Ole Miss takes the field in the fourth and "Sweet Child of Mine" plays over the sound system.
Rebels scored four in the top of the fourth to take a 7-6 lead.
C.J. Ketchum led off with a single and Logan Power walked. Mark Wright then hit a one-out single to right against reliever Marcelo Albir for his fourth RBI of the game. Justin Henry hit a two-out double to score two runs and tie the game and Chris Coghlan followed with a single to score Henry and put Ole Miss on top.
Coghlan snapped an 0-for-7 skid with the hit.
Miami's Tommy Giles just led off the Hurricane fourth with a single.

Oxford: Tied again

Ole Miss fans are standing an cheering and some are waving towels after the Rebels just tied the game at 6 in the top of the fourth.
Rebels have runner on third with two outs.

Oxford: Starting woes continue

For the third consecutive game, Ole Miss' starting pitcher couldn't just more than four innings. The Rebels just lifted Lance Lynn with two outs in the third inning. The longest outing Ole Miss has gotten out of a starter was last night when Brett Bukvich went 3.2 innings.
So. RHP Will Kline, who went 2.2 in his start Saturday just came on in relief.
Lynn got in trouble when he hit Jon Jay to lead off the inning, allowed Danny Valencia to single and then walked Dennis Raben to load the bases. Yonder Alonso walked to drive in one run and Roger Tomas had a sac fly. After Eddy Rodriguez struck out for the second out of the inning, Blake Tekotte reached on a two-base error by OM 1B C.J. Ketchum that scored another run.
Kline just got Jemile Weeks for the third out of the inning.
After three, it's Miami 6, OM 3.

Oxford: Hard foul

Play stopped momentarily after home plate umpire Jack Cox was hit in the face by a foul ball.
Right after it resumed OM pitcher Lance Lynn walked Miami's Yonder Alonso on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and no outs. That scored Jon Jay to put Miami ahead 4-3, and Roger Tomas hit the next pitch to center field for a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3 Miami in the bottom of the third.
Hurricanes still have runners on 1st and 2nd with one out.

Oxford: Game online

For those unable to watch the Ole Miss-Miami game on ESPN, you can watch at espnu.xosn.com.
In the bottom of the third, it's 3-3.

Oxford: One swing of the bat

Ole Miss' Mark Wright just hit a three-run home run to tie the game at 3 going into the bottom of the second.
The crowd began to come to life when Logan Power and Justin Brashear drew consecutive one-out walks. Miami coach Jim Morris came out to visit with Miami pitcher Manny Miguelez. Wright greeted Miguelez's next pitch with a 345-foot line-drive blast to left. It was Wright's second three-run home run of the regional.
Fans roared after the home run and again as the Rebels took the field in the bottom of the 2nd.
After 1.5 innings, it's 3-3.

Oxford: Canes surge again

Once again Miami has scored first.
The Hurricanes got three runs in the first inning after Jemile Weeks was hit by pitch to lead off the bottom of the frame (Ole Miss is the visiting team in the game). Weeks stole second and scored on a Jon Jay single. Miami third baseman Danny Valencia then hit Miami's seventh home run of the super regional to put the Hurricanes on top 3-0. Miami players came out the dugout, jumping up and down to greet Valencia.
Top 2nd, Miami leads 3-0.

Oxford: Standing O

The Oxford-University Stadium crowd stands and cheers and then starts a "Hotty Toddy" cheer as Miguelez finishes his warmup tosses. Crowd is smaller than it's been the last two days, but still fairly large.

Oxford: Getting set

National anthem just sung and we're about to get set for game 3 in Oxford.

Continue reading "Oxford: Getting set" »

Oxford: Miami and Ole Miss Gettin' Ready

We knew coming into this Oxford Super Regional that Miami and Ole Miss were nearly identical in every statistical category. It's not surprising that we have come to final and decisive game 3 here tonight. Both teams are young, and Ole Miss will turn to a freshman righty tonight who looks nothing like a freshman out there on the mound. Lance Lynn is 6-foot-5 270 pounds and in his last three starts, he has picked up a win in each. In the regional championship game last weekend against Tulane, Lynn went 7 innings giving up 7 hits 3 runs while only walking 1 batter and striking out 7. The 7 innings were the longest of his career. For the season, Lynn is 7-3 in 14 starts, 17 appearances overall. In 82.2IP, he has given up 83 hits, 44 runs (42ER), 48BB, 74K, and opponents are hitting .264 off of the big righthander. From the sounds of it, Lynn throws gas, but Miami loves fastaballs and the lineup is stacked with lefties against righthanders.

For Miami it will be sophomore lefty Manny Miguelez. After getting off to a great start this season in his first year in the starting rotation, Miguelez seemed to run out of gas in the middle of the year against some of the upper teams in the ACC. After a couple of weeks out of the rotation, he was inserted back in, and has pitched well the last couple of weeks. Last week against Manhattan, he went 6 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 runs (1ER), 2 walks, and he struck out five as he picked up his 8th win of the year. For the season, Miguelez is 8-4 with a 4.01 ERA while leading the team with 101 IP and striking out 76 batters. Miguelez has given up 86 hits, 53 runs (45ER) while walking 34.

Talking to some around town today, they seemed weary about facing a crafty lefty like Miguelez as they said that the team has struggled against similar pitchers so far this season. They also seemed weary about losing the 2nd game after coming back in the 1st just like last year. One woman told me that,"we don't believe in superstitions," yet she was the one to bring up the fact that nearly everyone was thinking the same thing around these parts.

Miami is certainly loose, and after last year, this Mississippi team you would have to think has the pressure on them. Enjoy the final two games to see who will get to Omaha. If you'd like to listen, www.wvum.org and click on streams.

Doug K.

Oxford: Miami does indeed bounce back

The youngin's on the 'canes have continued Miami's postseason theme; the freshmen are carrying this team and the future looks very bright for the green and orange. After one of the more disheartening losses to date the night before, Miami bounced back with a huge one, dominating the Rebels from the get go. Danny Gil in just his fourth career start, tossed a career high 6 innings and for the second straight start, did not allow a run.

Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Jemile Weeks hit two homeruns tonight, his 2nd and 3rd of the weekend. After having 3 homeruns in the first 60 games, he has gone yard 3 times in 2 nights. All 6 have been from the right side for the switch-hitter. Weeks drove in 5 runs in one of the most impressive freshman performances in Miami history, not bad when you consider they have played 234 post-season games.

It was also only the 9th time in those 234 playoff games that Miami shutout an opponent and won. The last time was in the 2003 Coral Gables regional when J.D. Cockroft 1 hit FAU and Miami won 1-0. In the last 25 years, Miami has only had 4 shutout wins in 181 playoff games through that time period. What the Miami pitching staff did tonight was very impressive to say the least. Gil, Jon McLean and Chris Perez shut down a team that put up 11 runs and 13 hits the night before. In any of the shutouts Miami has had in their prestigous postseason history, they never shutout a team who they had played the night before.

So Miami gets the job done and they won the coin toss to be the home team tomorrow. This scene must be eerily familiar to those here in Oxford. Last year, they came back against Texas in game 1 to win (just like this year), lost game 2, lost the coin flip and will be the road team tomorrow. The Rebels will have to change the pattern if they want to head to their first CWS since '72.

Now each team is 1 win away from Omaha, and for Miami, it would be 22 times since 1974. I'll be back tomorrow with a preview of the pitching matchup. It's a freshman for Ole Miss and a sophomore for Miami. Is this not what baseball is all about or what? Not sure if i'm going to be able to sleep tonight but it's going to be something that i'll never forget tomorrow. Thanks to Chris for keeping updates throughout the night while i was on the air, it's a nice 1-2 combo here in Oxford! Until tomorrow...

Doug K.

June 11, 2006

Oxford: Canes win

Miami wins 7-0.
Game three Monday at 6 p.m.
Miami so. LHP Manny Miguelez against OM fr. RHP Lance Lynn
Got to write my stories for the Oxford Eagle newspaper. Check out www.oxfordeagleonline.com tomorrow if you like.
Look for more from my Doug Kroll too.

Oxford: Stretching

Miami left fielder Dennis Raben just made a running one-handed catch in front of the Miami dugout to send the game into the bottom of the seventh.
"Take me out to the ballgame' is playing and Canes are leading 6-0. Crowd has been relatively quiet.

Oxford: 9,000 again

Attendance just announced....9,139. Slightly smaller than the 9,202 last night.
After five innings, Miami leads 6-0.

Oxford: League of his own

Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks, the brother of Milwaukee Brewers' second baseman Rickey Weeks, just hit his second home run of the game and his third of the weekend. The two-run home run traveled 350-feet to left field.
Weeks, the MVP of the Lincoln Regional, now has five RBIs in the game. Miami leads 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
Freshman rigtht-hander Cody Satterwhite (11-2, 5.22) in for Ole Miss.

Oxford: Turning a pair

Miami just got out of a bases loaded one-out jam in the fourth when Hurricane second baseman Roger Tomas turned a nifty double play, charging a ball up the middle, skip-stepping over 2B and then throwing the 1B.
The Canes ran out of the dugout as the players ran off the field and someone with a white polo shirt kept pumping his fists in celebration and ran all the way to the 3B line.
After 3.5 innings, Miami leads 4-0.

Oxford: Blast and bloops

Miami's Dennis Raben led off the second inning with a solo home run, the sixth home run of the weekend.
The Hurricanes then got consecutive bloop singles and Roger Tomas beat out a bunt with one out to load the bases. The bunt was placed between first and second base and when 1B C.J. Ketchum fielded it, no one was covering first.
Jemile Weeks singled in two runs, giving him three RBIs for the game.
Ole Miss finally got out of the inning when Jon Jay's hard hit ball bounced off the mound and into the glove of OM SS Zack Cozart, who started a double play.
After two innings, Miami 4, OM 0.

Oxford: First inning in the books

Miami starter Danny Gil had no problems with Ole Miss in the top of the first inning, retiring the side in order on 10 pitchers.The crowd roared as leadoff hitter Justin Henry got a 3-0 count, but Gil got the count full and then got Henry to pop out.
Rebel freshman left-hander Brett Bukvich was greeted by Miami leadoff hitter Jemile Weeks, who took a 1-0 pitch 378-feet to left field for his second home run of the weekend.
Bukvich then retired the next three hitters.
Crowd is a bit smaller than last night (probably because of people across the state having to be at work Monday morning) but is still overflow and covering the hills down the third-base line and across the outfield. Once again, the crowd completely encircles the stadium.
After one inning, it's Miami 1, Ole Miss 0.

Continue reading "Oxford: First inning in the books" »

Oxford: Gil to Start for Canes

In their biggest game of the year, it will be righty junior Danny Gil making his fourth start of his career, 2nd in two weeks. Gil was thrusted into the starting rotation away from his setup role in the bullpen, after a season ending injury to Carlos Gutierrez, and he did his job last week, getting into the sixth inning against San Francisco.

Continue reading "Oxford: Gil to Start for Canes" »

Oxford: Miami Down but Not Out?

The Miami Hurricanes throughout the 2006 season could have basically adopted the slogan of "bouncing back" as the team's philosophy. Several times this season, the young squad lost real tough games and came back the next day to win. At rival Florida State this year, after winning game one, Miami lost 16-1 on Saturday. They then came back to win on Sunday in a very hostile enviornment 7-5 to take the series two games to one. Then on the road at NC State, after losing the opening game 9-2, in a very sloppy game, Miami came out to win the next two to take that series as well. So not only has Miami come back before after tough losses, they have done it on the road, which of course they are in the position this time around here in Oxford, MS.

After the game, the team was in surprisingly high spirits as I got a bite to eat across the street from the hotel. Most of the players were eating with their families that made the trip, which is exactly what Hurricanes fans should hope they would be doing after such a devastating loss. But I think the fact they lost without playing sloppy ball has to keep their heads high. If they had gone out and committed 5 errors and lost in that fashion, then there would be reason to sulk, but this is college baseball and teams bats come alive.

Being a visitor to Swayze field for the first time, I was amazed. It was so loud at times, doing the game on the radio was an unbelievable experience. My tape is going to sound like I did the game at a Yankee Stadium during a World Series game. The announced crowd was over 9,200 but I think if you include those on the grassy hills beyond the outfield fence, there had to be more. It was truly amazing and I will never forget game 1 of the super regionals here.

Tomorrow I would have to think that Miami will throw lefty Manny Miguelez, but we shall see. Miami has its backs against the wall and for the first time, we will see the youngsters play in a "there's no tomorrow" atmosphere. I can't even imagine the crowd tomorrow after being tremendous tonight, I really feel they had something to do with the eight unanswered runs scored by Ole Miss to win the game. With a chance to go to the CWS for the first time since 1972, and after last year's tough two losses to Texas in the home super regional after winning the first game, you would have to think the crowd is going to be louder and even more into it tomorrow, if that's possible. Truly amazing, every college baseball game should be like that, I am proud to be a college baseball fan after that game. Until tomorrow, gotta love college baseball...


June 10, 2006

Oxford: Quotes and notes

Ole Miss' Zack Coart went 3-for-5 with three runs and three RBIs after collecting just one hit last weekend. C.J. Ketcum and Mark Wright each drove in three runs for Ole Miss and Yonder Alonso drove in three for Miami.
Below are quotes from Oxford Super Regional.

Continue reading "Oxford: Quotes and notes" »

Oxford: Ole Miss wins

Rebels take first game 11-9.
Game two Sunday at 6:30.
Ole Miss freshman left-hander Brett Bukvich against either right-hander Danny Gil or lefty Manny Miguelez.

Oxford: Crowd rocking

Ole Miss reliever Garrett White just worked a five pitch perfect eighth. Fans chanted "O-U-T, Out" as center fielder Alex Presley caught the last out.
Fan chatter: "Turn that hurricane into a tropical depression."
Right now, it's Ole Miss 11, Miami 9...bottom 8.

Oxford: Just a grill

New word is that the smoke coming from left field was from a small grill behind the wall and not from the scoreboard.
Ole Miss has created some smoke of its own, however. Zack Cozart singled in Chris Coghlan to put the Rebels on top 10-9 in the sixth.

Oxford: Too much offense?

According to University police, the auxillary scoreboard behind the LF fence (for the fans in the ourfield) is smoking. Clouds of smoke can be seen rising over the LF fence.
More info if available.

Oxford: Pumped pitcher

After striking out Miami shortstop Roger Tomas to end the sixth, Ole Miss pitcher Craig Rodriguez just pumped him fist and sprinted off the mound where he was mobbed by excited teammates.
Rodriguez had two strikeouts in the inning and stranded a runner at second.
He's allowed two runs in 3.1 innings.
Tied at nine, bottom six.

Oxford: At the track, at the wall...

game tied.
Ole Miss gets two home runs in the fifth, a solo shot by Zack Cozart and a three-run blast by Mark Wright to tie the game at 9 going into the sixth.
Wright's blast on a 2-2 count and with two outs was punctuated by a load roar from the crowd. Wright, a junior who was undrafted last week, extended his arm when the ball cleared the wall and was mobbed by his teammates who all jumped up and down at home plate.

Oxford: Not so weak

Miami second baseman Jemile Weeks sent a 3-1 pitch 402 feet for his fourth home run of the season. The two-run shot gives Miami a 9-3 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Halfway through.

Oxford: Angry citizens

With Miami's Jon Jay at the plate with a 1-2 count in the fourth, OM reliever Craig Rodrigez threw a pitch that got by Jay. The umpire called a foul tip, prompting an argument from Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco and a chorus of boos from the Ole Miss fans. The fans booed again when Jon Jay singled and throughout Danny Valencia's at bat. Valencia walked to load the bases with no outs before Rodriguez used two infield pop outs and a strikeout to escape the jam.
The crowd roared and then booed again when Bianco came out to have more words with the home plate umpire Joe Burleson.
After 3.5, Miami 7, Ole Miss 3.

Oxford: Counter punch

It's punch, counter-punch in Oxford. Miami's Yonder Alonso hit a three-run home run with no outs in the second to put Canes on top 4-3.
OM coach Mike Bianco jsut met with pitcher Will Kline.
Alonso, Miami's leading RBI man, had a 3-1 count with first base open when Kline grooved one over the plate.
Blake Tekotte just singled. Still no outs.

Oxford: Standing O

Oxford fans gave the Ole Miss players a standing ovation as the bottom of the first ended.
Ole Miss' top three hitters -- Justin Henry, Chris Coghlan and Zack Cozart -- got a hit and scored. Logan Power hit a two-out double but did not score.
After one inning, Ole Miss leads 3-1.

Oxford: Canes score first

Miami notches the game's first run after Jon Jay singled with two outs, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Danny Valencia single. Jay was met in front of the dugout by his teammates and took off his helmet in salute.
Other than that, Ole Miss starter Will Kline struck out the side with all three strikeouts coming off his changeup. The crowd was clapping in unison before the last one.
Miami is 28-6 this season when scoring first.
Ole Miss about to get its first shot at Scott Maine.

Oxford: Ready to roll

Players were just announced for both teams, national anthem has been sung (an acapella quartet), Miami players huddled in front of their dugout and both teams now wait in their dugouts.
Ole Miss is in white pinstripe tops and bottoms. "Rebels" is written across their chests in navy trimmed in red and white, and the Rebels are wearing navy caps with a red "M" in the middle.
Miami is in green tops and gray pants. "Hurricanes" is written in orange across their chest and the "U" is on thier shirt sleeve. The Hurricanes are wearing a gray cap with a green bill with a script "M: in green.

Continue reading "Oxford: Ready to roll" »

Oxford: Thousands Already in Place for Canes and Rebels

Arrived at the ballpark and setting up for the broadcast, there are thousands of fans with tents set up beyond the outfield fences up on the hills. It is quite the sight to see and to say this is going to be a raucus atmosphere for the visiting Hurricanes is an understatement. For Miami's sake, they played at Florida State this season and took 2 out of 3 from the largest crowds they ever had in Tallahassee, which even included the marching band of the Seminoles. To see this many people here shouldn't be intimidating for the youngsters, but this is the first time many of them will ever play on national television. Which is something that i'm sure many of them are very excited about.

It's 95 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Thank goodness these games will be evening/night games and that I'm in the shade out in front of the press box. I can't imagine playing here in the heat of the day in June. Enjoy the game, I hope it's as exciting as it looks when lookin at the two teams on paper....

June 08, 2006

Ole Miss: New philosophy successful

It wasn't but a couple of months ago that the Ole Miss Rebels were 13-11 and 1-5 in the SEC and wondering how far they had fallen after losing six juniors in the top seven rounds of the 2005 MLB draft. Ole Miss had just returned from getting swept at Alabama and Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco met with his team that Monday and reminded them of the team's offensive philosophy and to remain patient at the plate.
Two months later the Rebels are the Southeastern Conference Tournament champions and are hosting a Super Regional for the second year in a row.

Continue reading "Ole Miss: New philosophy successful" »

June 06, 2006

Miami: Firing On All Cylinders

The Hurricanes knew that this season was going to be full of ups and downs, and head coach Jim Morris knew that the team was going to have its fair share of growing pains. With one of the toughest schedules in the country, Miami grew up the hard way during its ACC schedule. At one point, they played five top 15 teams in a row. Even though their record wasn't great, as they were swept by Clemson, lost 2 of 3 from both UNC and Virginia, the signs were all there that this team was growing and was very close to becoming a very good club.

Continue reading "Miami: Firing On All Cylinders" »

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