Stanford was hot, Miami was not, and the Hurricanes head home
AP Photo/Ted Kirk
By Curt McKeever, Special to ESPN.com
OMAHA, Neb. -- At the end, Miami's multi-talented, top-ranked baseball team looked just like its coach Wednesday night at the College World Series.
AP Photo/Ted Kirk
Miami's Adan Severino reacts after the Hurricanes lost to Stanford.
Sapped by the flu.
The Hurricanes -- with three players who were selected in the first round of the Major League draft earlier this month, and three others that got taken before the fifth round -- got handcuffed by three unheralded Stanford pitchers and eliminated by the Cardinal 8-3 in Rosenblatt Stadium.
Since the NCAA went in 1999 to its current format of seeding the top eight teams entering the postseason tournament, Miami's 1999 club is the only No. 1 seed to win the championship.
"We had everything that you need in a good ball club," junior right fielder Dennis Raben said. "We had good pitching, a good bullpen. Offense and defense. We just weren't hot out here."
The Hurricanes got off to an encouraging start against right-handed freshman Danny Sandbrink, as Blake Tekotte and Jemile Weeks both reached on infield hits that would eventually produce a run.
But Sandbrink would yield nothing else before giving way to right-handed senior Erick Davis in the fifth inning. By then, the Cardinal led 3-1, and Sean Ratliff's 22nd homer of the season in the bottom half would ignite a game-breaking four-run outburst.
Miami entered the Series with a .322 team batting average, but in three games here hit just .276.
What's more, the 'Canes were just 5-for-32 (.156) with runners in scoring position.
"We really hadn't been hot at the end," Jim Morris said of a club that won 53 games to tie for the most in his 15 seasons at Miami. In the middle of the season I felt like we could beat anybody at any time.
"... We didn't get it going out here. The team that wins out here is not necessarily the best club, it's the team that gets hot."
Stanford is one of two teams that made it to Omaha minus a top-eight national seed. The other, Fresno State, is 2-0 in the other bracket and one win from advancing to the championship series. The Bulldogs await the winner of Thursday's North Carolina-LSU contest.
Meanwhile, the Cardinal need to defeat Georgia twice to make the final.
"They outplayed us, really, in every phase," Morris said. "They've gotten here by beating really good people, so no question in my mind they'll be [in] a battle."
By Curt McKeever, Special to ESPN.com
OMAHA, Neb. -- Somebody please give freshman Stanford pitcher Danny Sandbrink Bob Gibson's phone number.
Wednesday night here at the College World Series -- in the hometown of the former St. Louis Cardinals' Hall of Fame pitcher, the one person Sandbrink would most like to spend a day with -- the St. Louis product gave an inspiring, back-to-the-wall performance that deserved at least a lunch date.
And should there be a table for three available, Sandbrink could bring along senior teammate and fellow pitcher Erik Davis.
With the Cardinal matched in an elimination game against top-ranked Miami, Sandbrink gave up infield singles to the first two batters he faced, leading to a run and an early 1-0 Miami lead.
But when he was pulled after issuing a leadoff walk in the fifth, the Hurricanes still had yet to record hit number three and trailed 3-1.
Highlights/Analysis: Stanford eliminates Miami
STOCK UP/stock down
|Davis loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth in just his second relief appearance of the season. He gave up a run on a sac fly, but struck out the next two batters to get out of the jam. The senior earned the win, striking out six in four innings.|
|Junior from Santa Barbara was a home run away from the cycle as his two-run triple in the fifth inning gave the Cardinal a 7-1 lead.|
|His team-high 22nd home run, a two-run shot, came just before Phelps' triple in the fifth, giving the Cardinal a 5-1 lead.|
|Despite finishing the game with two hits, Alonso struck out his first three at-bats. It's only the third time in his career that the junior has struck out three times in one game.|
|The 1-2-3 hitters for Stanford, Phelps, Joey August and Jason Castro went a combined 7-15 including four RBIs and two runs scored.|
By The NumbersBy ESPN Research
7 Wednesday night marks the seventh time in this year's College World Series that the winning team has had to come from behind to win. It's also the sixth straight game, starting with North Carolina beating LSU on Sunday night.
7 Of the nine games played so far in the CWS, seven of them have been won by relievers, with Stanford's Erik Davis earning the win tonight after four innings of work. It was just Davis' second relief appearance of the season.
1 Stanford has committed only one error in its three games in the CWS, posting a .990 fielding percentage.
9 Miami's loss marks the ninth straight year that the overall No. 1 seed as failed to win the national championship. Ironically, the Hurricanes were the last No. 1 seed to win the CWS back in 1999.
14 Sophomore pitcher Kyle Bellamy's streak of 14 straight appearances came to an end. Bellamny's 43 appearances this season was tops in the nation.
On Tap At The CWSAll times Eastern
Thursday, June 19
LSU vs. UNC, 7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN360)
Friday, June 20
Georgia vs. Stanford, 2 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPN360)
Fresno State vs. LSU/UNC winner, 7 p.m. (ESPN/ESPN360)
For the full schedule, click here.