May 31, 2003
After two losses on Saturday, no. 14 Florida Atlantic University concluded its season with a 1-0 loss to the University of Miami and a 22-14 loss to the University of Florida at the Coral Gables NCAA Regional. The two games could not have been more different as a pitching duel in game one was followed by a slugfest with 40 hits and 36 runs.
In the first game of the afternoon, Randy Beam threw his sixth complete game of the season and only allowed five hits to the Hurricanes. Despite his valiant efforts, the junior took the loss as J.D. Cockroft pitched a complete game one-hitter as Miami came out on top with a 1-0 victory.
UM (41-14-1) scored in the fourth inning after Beam gave up two consecutive singles to Ryan Braun and Jim Burt to put men on first and second. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position before a Gaby Sanchez ground ball to first baseman Rusty Brown plated the only run of the contest.
"Both pitchers pitched a great game. Randy Beam pitched great, it is a shame he was on the losing end," said head coach Kevin Cooney. "Cockroft is a quality pitcher. The fans witnessed a terrific college baseball game today."
Beam, a Baseball Weekly Second Team All-American, lowers his ERA to 2.39 despite the loss and falls to 13-2.
"Fans came to see a great baseball game today and that is what they got to see," said Beam. "Today's game was college baseball at its best."
Shaen O'Connor recorded FAU's only hit in the contest in the third inning.
Florida Atlantic (47-16) found some offense in game two, but its 18 hits and four home runs were not enough as Florida won the second game of the day 22-14 behind five home runs and 22 hits.
The Gators (36-20-1) scored two runs in the first before FAU collected six straight hits in the third inning, two of them three-run homers by Derek Hutton and Matt Pali to account for FAU's six runs in the third inning and give FAU its only lead of the game 6-2.
Florida countered back in the bottom half of the third with six hits of its own. Three straight singles followed by a Brian Rose three-run home run brought UF to within one before James Callahan came out of the pen in relief of FAU starter Chris Saxton and struck out the first batter he faced. Callahan (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) then gave up a double and single as the Gators tied the game at six.
FAU's pitching staff only managed to hold Florida scoreless in two innings, the second and seventh. Chris Saxton retired the side in the second and freshman, Will Mann, worked the seventh. Mann gave up two singles but a run did not cross the plate as right fielder Jeff Fiorentino threw Jeff Corsaletti out at the plate as he tried to make his way to home from second base.
Offensively, Mario Garza (5-for-5) and Brian Rose who went 3-for-5 with seven RBIs and four runs scored led the Gators.
Derek Hutton led FAU as he broke FAU's postseason single game record for home runs and RBIs with two home runs and six RBIs.
Miami and Florida will meet in the championship game of the Coral Gables Regional on Sunday at 1 pm.