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Freshman's homer rallies Miami

By Associated Press
Published June 8, 2003

CORAL GABLES - No runners on base, a star closer on the mound and Miami's postseason fortunes in the balance: Ryan Braun relishes these moments.

The freshman hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth as the Hurricanes rallied for a 10-9 win over N.C. State on Saturday. Miami leads the best-of-three super region series 1-0.

The homer - Braun's second of the game and 17th of the season - was the first postseason game-ending homer for Miami since 1997 against Arizona State.

"I pride myself on those situations," Braun said. "I really do feel comfortable in those situations. I just have a little bit extra focus and concentration."

Braun, who set the school's freshman RBI record, has 12 winning hits this season.

"That's not going to happen every day - hopefully tomorrow, but not every day," Miami coach Jim Morris said.

The homer came off closer Joey Devine, who has 14 saves. It was the only hit Devine (6-3) gave up in 11/3 innings.

The Hurricanes - 72-11 in the postseason at Mark Light Field - rallied after falling behind by six runs in the sixth.

"It hurts but we've been in games like this the entire year and that's what got us here," Wolfpack first baseman Justin Riley said.

Reliever Shaun Valdez-Fauli (4-0) got the win after getting out of a ninth-inning jam. Tied at 9, N.C. State had runners at second and third, but Valdez-Fauli gave up two grounders to get out of the inning and set the stage for Braun.

S. CAROLINA 14, UNC 4: Brian Buscher homered twice and drove in six runs as the host Gamecocks advanced to the College World Series. Landon Powell also hit two homers and had four RBIs for South Carolina (44-20), which lost to Texas in the national championship game last year. After falling behind 2-0 in the second, the Gamecocks scored four in the third to take the lead for good.

STANFORD 4, LONG BEACH ST. 2: Danny Putnam hit a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh, and Carlos Quentin had four hits and an RBI as the host Cardinal advanced to the CWS for the fifth consecutive year. Mark Romanczuk (12-0) scattered 10 hits over 81/3 innings and became the first Stanford freshman to win his first 12 decisions. He struck out two and walked one. Matt Manship got two outs for his ninth save.

LSU 6, BAYLOR 5: Clay Harris and Ivan Naccarata hit back-to-back homers in the eighth, and the host Tigers tied their series at 1. LSU (44-20-1) took a 3-0 lead in the first on Aaron Hill's homer but trailed 5-4 in the seventh after run-scoring singles by Chris Durbin and David Murphy. Harris tied it in the eighth with a homer off Abe Woody. Ryan LaMotta, who earned the save Friday, came in, but Naccarata homered to put the Tigers ahead 6-5.

ASU 7, CAL ST. FULLERTON 6: Jeff Larish and Andre Ethier each hit homers as the visiting Sun Devils forced an elimination game. Larish was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Ethier was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for Arizona State (54-13). The Titans (47-14) fell behind 7-2, but came back, getting three runs in the sixth on Justin Smyres' pinch-hit two-run triple and Ronnie Prettyman's sacrifice fly.

HOUSTON 5, RICE 2: Cole Bruce hit a three-run homer to cap the the Cougars' four-run sixth, and Danny Zell pitched seven strong innings for host Houston. Zell (9-5) allowed seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Ryan Wagner struck out four in two innings of perfect relief.

SW MISSOURI ST. 13, OHIO ST. 8: Brooks Colvin and Rick Wilson each hit run-scoring singles in a five-run eighth as the visiting Bears won Game 1. Dant'e Brinkley's three-run homer capped a seven-run third for Southwest Missouri State (39-24), who led 8-2 before Ohio State (44-20) tied it on Brett Garrard's two-run homer in the top of the eighth. The Bears scored five times in the bottom of the inning to take control.

TEXAS-FLORIDA STATE: The first game of the series in Tallahassee was postponed because of rain. It will be played at 6 tonight. Game 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday. If necessary, Game 3 will be Tuesday.

[Last modified June 8, 2003, 01:33:29]

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