Miami Claims 13th Straight Regional Title
Lincoln - Miami completed a three-game sweep of the NCAA Lincoln Regional field to capture its 10th straight win in regional play and its 13th consecutive regional title with an 10-4 victory over upstart Manhattan at Hawks Field on Sunday evening.
Miami trailed 3-1 after two innings and 4-3 until the top of the sixth when the Hurricanes scored a pair of runs to gain a 5-4 lead. The Canes broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning capped by Jon Jay's two-run homer to left field to end Manhattan's hopes of forcing a second championship game on Monday afternoon.
The fourth-seeded Jaspers finished possibly the best season in school history with a program-record 34 wins and finished with a 34-23 record after dropping their third game of the year to the Hurricanes, including a pair of losses in the Lincoln Regional.
Miami, the No. 2 seed in the Lincoln Regional, advanced to next weekend's NCAA Super Regional series against Mississippi, the winner of the Oxford Regional. The Hurricanes, who are making their NCAA record 34th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, improved to 39-21 on the year with their fourth win in the past five games.
Jemile Weeks, Jon Jay and Blake Tekotte all enjoyed big nights at the plate for the Hurricanes. Weeks, who was named the Lincoln Regional Most Outstanding Player, went 3-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBIs.
Weeks and Tommy Giles, who added two hits and earned a spot on the all-tournament team, set the table repeatedly at the top of the order for Jay, who went 3-for-5 with five RBIs to help fuel a 12-hit Hurricane attack. Jay joined Weeks, Giles, Danny Valencia, Eddy Rodriguez and Roger Tomas as the six Miami representatives on the all-tournament team.
While the top three hitters in the Hurricane order combined for eight hits, Tekotte captained the production at the bottom of the order with a 3-for-4 effort in the No. 9 spot in the lineup.
Weeks set the tone for Miami, drawing a leadoff walk to start the game, before scoring one out later on Jay's single to right-center field to give the Canes a 1-0 lead.
That lead was short-lived though, as the Jaspers responded with a run of their own in bottom of the first. Eric Nieto led off the Manhattan half of the first with a double, before advancing to third on a groundout and scoring on Mike Garcia's single up the middle to tie the score.
Manhattan starter Matt Nevins retired Miami in order in the second, and the Jasper offense tacked on two more runs against Hurricane starter Scott Maine.
Designated hitter John Fitzpatrick, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team and became Manhattan's all-time hits leader with his one-out single in the sixth inning, drew a leadoff walk in the second inning and advanced to second on a groundout before moving up to third on a wild pitch. Ryan Marcoux then sent a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Giles, allowing Fitzpatrick to score to give Manhattan a 2-1 lead.
With Marcoux at second and one out, Ruiz grounded out before Nunzio Franzese singled through the right side of the infield. Marcoux stopped at third and then came home on a passed ball with Nieto at the plate to give the Jaspers a 3-1 lead.
Miami promptly answered with two runs in the top of the third, as Tekotte single and Weeks reached on an error that put runners at the corners with no outs for the Hurricanes. Giles followed with a single to score Tekotte, before a bunt single by Jay loaded the bases with nobody out.
After a Danny Valencia fly ball to shallow center, Dennis Raben grounded out to drive in Weeks to tie the score, but Nevins was able to avoid further damage by getting Eddy Rodriguez to fly out to end the inning.
The score remained tied at three until Nieto pounded a solo home run to left field to give the Jaspers a 4-3 edge after five innings.
The Canes took control in the top of the sixth, as Tekotte doubled to start the inning before Weeks followed with an RBI double to tie the score. Giles added a single to push Weeks to third, before Jay's fielder's choice groundout scored Weeks from third base for a 5-4 lead.
In the seventh, Roger Tomas and Yonder Alonso started the inning off with walks, before Tekotte struck again with a double down the third base line to score Tomas and put runners at second and third with nobody out. Weeks then knocked a two-run single to push the Canes' lead to 8-4, before Jay smashed a one-out, two-run homer to left field to cap the scoring.
Maine improved to 11-3 for the Hurricanes on the hill this season by firing a complete-game, allowing four runs, three earned, on just six hits. He struck out four and walked two while throwing just 97 pitches in an efficient and effective effort.
Nevins took the loss for the Jaspers, falling to 3-6 on the season after allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits through five innings. He walked three and struck out one.
2006 NCAA Lincoln Regional All-Tournament Team
Catcher - Eddy Rodriguez, Miami
First Base - Matt Razzotti, Manhattan
Second Base - Jemile Weeks, Miami (MOP)
Third Base - Danny Valencia, Miami
Shortstop - Roger Tomas, Miami
Outfield - Eric Nieto, Manhattan
Outfield - John Jay, Miami
Outfield - Tommy Giles, Miami
DH - John Fitzpatrick, Manhattan
P - Chris Cody, Manhattan
P- Patrick McGuigan, San Francisco