May 30, 1999
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Neal McCarthy homered with two out in the 10th
inning as Providence kept its baseball program alive for at least one more game
by beating Jacksonville 9-8 Sunday at the NCAA Tallahassee regional.
McCarthy ripped a 2-0 pitch from Scott Porter (4-5) over the fence in
right-center field to cap the Friars’ improbable comeback from a 7-1 deficit
after six innings.
It marked the third time this season that Providence has won in its final
at-bat. Josh Burnham (10-3) got the win with 4 2-3 innings of relief.
Providence (49-15), which is discontinuing baseball after this season to
meet gender equity standards, advanced to face Florida State later Sunday for
the region championship. If the Friars win again, the teams would play again
Jacksonville, which beat Providence in the region opener, ended its season
with a 41-23 record.
The Dolphins had taken an 8-7 lead in the ninth when James Rodgers hit a
solo home run off Burnham, his sixth homer this season. But Providence tied it
in the bottom of the inning when Mike Scott’s triple scored Don Conway.
Jacksonville third baseman Kirk Asche and Providence’s Jeremy Sweet were
ejected in the seventh for verbal abuse. Sweet was shouting obscenities from
the dugout and Asche responded in kind.
With the Dolphins leading 7-1, Providence began its comeback with two runs
in the bottom of the sixth. Both runs scored on infield outs.
The Friars added a run in the seventh on McCarthy’s RBI single and tied it
7-7 with three runs in the eighth. Mike O’Keefe stroked a two-run single and
Keith Reed’s infield single scored Mike Scott.
Jacksonville grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first inning, capped by a two-run
homer from Grant Conyers. Providence scored once in the bottom of the inning on
McCarthy’s bases-loaded single, but Angelo Ciminello lined out to end the
Jacksonville increased its lead to 5-1 in the second on a solo homer by Josh