April 23, 1999
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Florida State (38-7) dropped their third one-run
loss, 8-7, to Miami (30-8) in as many games . The game was a battle
between the two teams that occupy the No. 1 spot in the college baseball
polls in front of 4,903 at Mark Light Stadium. FSU is regarded as the
top team in the nation by Baseball America and Baseball Weekly/ESPN and
UM holds that honor according to Collegiate Baseball.
With the score tied at 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth, Miami’s
Javy Rodriguez singled up the middle with the bases loaded and one out
to give the Hurricanes the victory. Rodriguez’ base hit off reliever
Chris Chavez scored Marcus Nettles, who was pinch running for Kevin
Both starters had rough outings in a rematch of last Friday’s
8-2 FSU victory in Tallahassee. Righthander Jon McDonald, who got the
win a week ago for the Seminoles, lasted only 2 2/3 innings and gave up
seven earned runs. UM’s Alex Santos went 5 2/3 innings and gave up
seven runs (six earned).
LHP Mike Smalley and LHP Zach Diaz came in and worked five
innings of scoreleless relief for FSU. Chavez (5-4) took the loss as he
gave up the deciding run in the ninth. Vince Vazquez (4-1) got the win
for Miami, pitching three scoreless innings and striking out six.
The Seminoles scored first with a run in the top of the first
inning, despite not getting a hit. Designated hitter John-Ford Griffin
reached on an error by UM second baseman Kris Clute, advanced on two
walks, and eventually scored on Jeremiah Klosterman’s sacrifice fly to
Miami took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Shortstop Bobby Hill walked and stole second to tie the UM career stolen
base mark at 123. Centerfielder Mike Rodriguez singled and stole second
before first baseman Kevin Brown singled home Hill and Rodriguez.
FSU tied the score in the second as leftfielder Mike Futrell
singled and scored on Griffin’s double into deep centerfield. The lead
was short-lived, as Miami picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the
inning. Third baseman Javy Rodriguez walked and scored on a double by
Clute, and Mike Rodriguez made it 4-2 with a single to center to score
The Hurricanes broke it open in the bottom of the third with
three more runs to extend their lead to 7-2. Brown, Russ Jacobson and
Lale Esquivel all scored with the help of a passed ball and a McDonald
wild pitch. Smalley replaced McDonald, who had his second-shortest
start of the season (1 1/3 vs. Florida, 2/20).
In the top of the fifth, the Seminoles loaded the bases with no
outs on singles by Griffin and McDougall, and a walk by Matt Diaz. FSU
managed just one run as John Halliday struck out looking, Jeremiah
Klosterman grounded into a fielder’s choice RBI to score the lone run
and Kevin Cash also struck out looking to end the inning.
An FSU four-run sixth knotted the game at 7-7. Futrell started
the rally with a walk and shortstop Brett Groves followed with a bunt
for a base hit. Griffin continued his hot night at the plate with an
RBI single to score Futrell. Matt Diaz knocked in Groves with a double
off the left field wall and Chris Hart’s pinch-hit double to left-center
plated Griffin and Diaz to tie the score.
Griffin was the Seminoles’ top hitter, going 3-for-5 with three
runs scored and two RBI. Matt Diaz was two-for-four with a run scored
and an RBI.