June 17, 2008


Big off the Bench

Erickson, Hagerty help Miami stop Florida State


By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder


OMAHA, Neb. – You have to have a strong bench to advance in the postseason.


Miami starter David Gutierrez took a line drive off his right shoulder against the first batter of the second inning and was forced to leave the contest.


Sophomore Eric Erickson came in with his team trailing 1-0. The left-hander was outstanding in relief. He worked five innings and allowed eight hits and two walks, but only one run in earning the victory. He struck out six, including four looking.


“FSU is a phenomenal hitting team,” Erickson said. “They’re going to be on base every inning. I don’t mind pitching with runners on base and I was fortunate to make my pitches.”


Erickson got in trouble, but worked his way out. The Seminoles had two on with one out and the bases loaded with two outs in the third, but did not score. They again had two on and one out in the fifth and came away empty.


“It was a credit to Eric,” said Miami head coach Jim Morris, “pitching in a bunch of clutch situations. They out-hit us, but we got them when they counted and that’s the biggest thing.”


Jason Hagerty was on the bench when the game started, but pinch-hit in the fifth and popped out. He batted again in the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs and rapped a two-run single to left to give the Hurricanes a 6-2 lead.


“I got turned around right-handed,” Hagerty said. “I was looking for something out over the plate. I was trying to stay short, not do too much with it. I knew they were throwing a lot of breaking balls with runners in scoring position, but I was still sitting on a fastball on the outer half. He threw it to me first pitch and just tried not to do too much and get a little base hit.”


It turned out to be a big base hit, as the Hurricanes held on for the 7-5 victory.