Feb. 20, 2004
Coral Gables, Fla. - The Tennessee Volunteers were beaten by the long ball as back-to-back home runs by Paco Figueroa and Joey Hooft with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted the No. 3 Miami Hurricanes to a dramatic 8-7 victory in the first of three games at Mark Light Stadium.
What made it even more heartbreaking was the fact that Tennessee (3-1) has just rallied from a two-run deficit to take a 7-6 lead in the eighth on a two-run single by Eric King.
After extending the lead to 4-0 in the second, the Hurricanes (3-1) scratched for a single run in the bottom of the frame on a sacrifice fly. They would chase Vol starter Ben Riley in the third by scoring four-runs in taking a 5-4 lead. Jim Burt drew a bases loaded walk and then Richard Giannotti's two-run single tied the game 4-4 before Burt scored the go-ahead run on a double play.
Miami native Scot Drucker (0-1) turned in a yeoman's effort in relief, striking out seven in 6 1/3 innings. He kept the Canes at bay for three innings before being touched for a run in the seventh when Ryan Braun doubled home Figueroa.
Cesar Carrillo (1-0), the third Miami pitcher of the night, earned the win in two innings of relief.
The eighth inning rally began as pinch hitter Rob Fitzgerald lined a double off the left field fence to start the frame. Following a walk, Brian Cleveland singled home Fitzgerald. It looked like Miami would get out of the inning with the lead as Carrillo recorded two strikeouts, but he gave up a walk to load the bases before King lined a shot down the right field line to give Tennessee the lead at 7-6.
Game two of the series is Saturday at 7 p.m.