May 29, 2009

Courtesy of Miami Athletics

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Freshman right-hander Travis Miller tossed four strong innings and junior first baseman Jason Hagerty homered twice to lead No. 2 seed Miami to a 9-4 win over third-seeded Jacksonville Friday afternoon in the opener of the NCAA Gainesville Regional at McKethan Stadium. Miami improved to 37-20 overall and won its 12th Regional opener under head coach Jim Morris.

Hagerty blasted two home runs - his 20th and 21st career home runs - in the first and seventh innings. He finished 2-for-2 with three RBI and three runs scored. Dave DiNatale and Yasmani Grandal each added a pair of hits for the Hurricanes who tallied 10 hits in the game.

Making just his third career start, Miller (3-0) won for the second time in the last three weekends. He tossed a career-long four innings, allowing three hits, while walking just one and striking out two. David Gutierrez tossed two scoreless innings and struck out three. Michael Rudman, Rene Guerra, Daniel Miranda and Kyle Bellamy combined to toss the final three innings.

Jacksonville starter Carson Andrew (6-4) took the loss, allowing six runs on five hits. He struck out seven. Kyle Fleming and Jeremy Gillan each went 3-for-5 for the Dolphins (36-21) while Fleming finished with two RBI.

After hitting a solo shot from the left side in the bottom of the first, Hagerty put UM up 8-4 in the seventh with a two-run shot from the right side, marking the second time this season the junior homered from each side of the plate in the same game.

Hagerty's first inning solo blast started the scoring in the Gainesville Regional. An inning later, Miami pushed its lead to 2-0 when Harold Martinez scored on an error from third after DiNatale's one-out double to right center.

Herrmann's ninth homer of the season capped off a four-run fifth inning, putting the `Canes ahead 6-0. Nathan Melendres started the inning with a single through the left side. After a Scott Lawson sacrifice bunt and groundout by Ryan Jackson, Hagerty was hit by a pitch giving Miami runners on the corners. Grandal then hit a two-run double to left-center giving Miami a 4-0 lead. Herrmann then went opposite field with a blast to left field for the six-run Hurricane lead.

Jacksonville rallied for four runs in the top of the seventh behind Fleming's two-run double and RBI singles from Gillan and Alex Martinez drawing the Dolphins within, 6-4.

After Miami's two-run bottom of the seventh, DiNatale's second double of the game helped Miami tack on an insurance run in the eighth. After his leadoff double and a sacrifice bunt from Ted Blackman moved him to third, he came across on a wild pitch to give Hurricanes the 9-4 lead.

Miami will take on the winner of Friday night's game between No. 1 seed Florida and No. 4 seed Bethune-Cookman Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. in the winner's bracket. Jacksonville will play the loser of the game between the Gators and Wildcats at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Game Notes
- Junior first baseman Jason Hagerty hit his 20th career home run in the top of the first and his 21st career home run in the bottom of the seventh. Hagerty's first homer - his 12th of the season - was the first time he hit one in the first inning.
- Hagerty also recorded his third multi-home run game of his career and hit home runs from both sides of the plate for the second time this season.
- Freshman RHP Travis Miller made his third career start Friday and improved to 3-0. He tossed a career-long four innings, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two.
- Junior left fielder Chris Herrmann hit his ninth home run in bottom of the fifth inning. Herrmann is now tied with Harold Martinez for third on the team in homers this season.
- Senior right fielder Dave DiNatale had two doubles against the Dolphins in the second and eighth innings. He now has 14 doubles on the season.
- Miami is 3-2 under Jim Morris in NCAA Regional opening games on the road. UM defeated Jacksonville Friday, 9-4; San Francisco, 11-2, in 2006 in Lincoln, Neb. ; FIU, 9-1, in 2006 in Gainesville, Fla.
- Miami made an NCAA-record 37th consecutive postseason appearance when it faced Jacksonville Friday. Nebraska's football team had made it to 35 straight bowl games before the streak was snapped in 2007.