April 2, 2003
In the 44th meeting between No. 17 Florida Atlantic University and No. 7 University of Miami, FAU needed 13 innings to defeat the Hurricanes 5-3. The game tied the longest in FAU history with a 1993 contest between UM and FAU in which Miami won 3-2. But the outcome was different in 2003 as Danny Core threw 8 1/3 innings before giving way to Chris Saxton, who threw a career-high 4 2/3 innings to record the win.
FAU (28-7) scored its first run of the game in the second inning after UM starting pitcher Ryan Dixon walked two and gave up a single to load the bases. An errant pick off throw by the catcher Erick Sand Pedro down to third base allowed Rusty Brown to score and give FAU the early 1-0 advantage.
Jeff Fiorentino (Hollywood, FL) scored the second run when got to first as Ryan Dixon issued his fourth walk of the game in the third. Rusty Brown came to the plate with one out and plated two runs to give FAU the 3-0 advantage with a home run to right center field. Brown's home run was the teams 41st of the season.
FAU senior Danny Core retired 11 batters before allowing Ryan Braun a free pass with four straight balls. Braun would remain stranded and would be one of Miami's 12 players left on base.
In the fifth, Core would give up his first two hits of the night. With one out, first baseman Jim Burt connected on a double to the left center field. Core walked his second batter to put men on first and second for Paco Figueroa. The shortstop hit a laser down the left field line by the diving Mike Cox to post two RBIs. Core ended the threat when he picked off Figueroa at second for his first pick off of the year.
The Hurricanes (23-5) threatened in the sixth and seventh but left men stranded at third in both innings when Brian Barton flew out to right field and Core struck out his seventh batter of the night.
Miami capitalized in the bottom of the eighth when Ryan Braun recorded the Hurricanes third double of the game. The shot down the left field line allowed Richard Giannotti to score from first base to tie the game at three.
Danny Core worked into the ninth inning and left the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning with one out. Core struck out nine and allowed three runs on eight hits. FAU's closer, Chris Saxton came out of the pen to try and move the game into the 10th. Saxton struck out his first batter before Brian Barton flied out to the third baseman, Mike Cox, in foul territory.
"Core and Saxton both pitched tremendous games," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "When Danny got into the jam we had to switch to Saxton in the tenth. How Saxton got out of the jam was phenomenal"
Neither team threatened until the 13th when FAU won the game on an Evan Brannon single up the middle that ricocheted off of the pitchers glove into center field to score Joe Yeager who was pinch running for Shaen O'Connor. Matt Ryan then grounded out on a bunt and saw Derek Hutton cross the plate to give Florida Atlantic a two run lead.
"The hit by Evan Brannon was key," said Cooney. "We were trying to run a squeeze play but the pitcher wouldn't throw Evan a strike. We gave him the go ahead on the 3-2 count and he scored the winning run."
Brannon (St. Petersburg, FL) and Derek Hutton were the only FAU hitters to record more than one hit. The eight and nine hitters in the lineup, they both reached base in the 13th inning with singles to pick up their third hits of the contest.
Saxton (Lake Worth, FL) improves to 2-1 after he pitched his longest outing of the season, 4 2/3 innings and struck out four.
CJ Chatham, Cameron Ragsdale Named First Team...
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FAU's Colyn O'Connell Drafted by Detroit Tigers
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Baseball's Valiant Season Closes at Regional