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2016 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship | Coral Gables Regional | Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field
Zack Collins Alex Muzzi
2-3, 3 R, HR, 2B, RBI 1-4, HR, 3 RBI
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 1 0 0 6 0 1 0 8 8 3
1 1 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 9 8 1
W - R. Guerra (2-1) 1.0 0 0 0 1 3
L - L. Jacobsen (0-2) 1.2 1 1 1 1 1
1 Duran 2B 4 3 1 1 1 0
2 Domingues 3B 5 0 2 1 0 2
3 Hampson SS 4 0 0 1 1 2
4 Rasmussen DH
-- Rivera PR
5 Jackson 1B 4 1 1 0 1 1
6 Muzzi LF 4 1 1 3 0 2
7 Banuelos C 5 1 1 0 0 2
8 Nelson RF 3 1 0 0 1 0
9 Stotler CF 3 0 1 0 1 0
TOTAL 35 8 8 7 6 9
1 Chester CF 5 0 1 1 0 1
2 Batista DH 5 0 1 1 1 1
3 Collins C 3 3 2 1 2 0
4 Lopez SS 1 1 0 0 2 1
5 Ruiz 2B 3 2 1 1 2 1
6 Abreu RF 4 1 1 3 0 2
7 Heyward LF 3 0 1 1 1 1
8 Barr 1B 4 2 0 0 1 0
9 Michelangeli 3B 3 0 1 1 1 0
TOTAL 31 9 8 9 10 7
Miami LBSU

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – It was a little tougher this time around, but for the second straight season, the Miami Hurricanes will host an NCAA Super Regional at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

Miami needed a walk-off single from junior Randy Batista in the ninth inning to advance to the second weekend of the postseason, as the No. 1 regional seed Hurricanes outlasted No. 3 regional seed Long Beach State 9-8 Sunday night in a thrilling Coral Gables Regional Championship game.

Last season, Miami topped Columbia 21-3 in its final regional game. Though the Hurricanes looked poised to repeat a similarly lopsided result Sunday when they jumped out to an 8-1 lead by the fourth, a furious seven-run rally by the Dirtbags over the game’s final four innings found the hosts entering the ninth with the game tied 8-8.

Redshirt junior Christopher Barr opened the ninth with a walk, took second on a sacrifice bunt and then advanced to third on a flyout to right.

Facing an 0-1 count with the winning run 90 feet away, Batista flared a pitch from LBSU reliever Lucas Jacobsen (0-2) into shallow left-center to score Barr and send Miami to its 29th all-time regional championship.

“It was the ‘Mark Light Magic,’” Batista said. “It just happened. I was fortunate enough to be in that position and get the big hit for my team. Glad I could do it.”

The win came nearly exactly 24 hours after Miami topped LBSU 4-3 in 11 innings. Down to their last strike, the Dirtbags tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on a pinch-hit home run before succumbing in extras.

“First of all, I didn’t think you could get any more dramatic than what we did last night, but baseball is an amazing game,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We’re up 8-1 and cruising, but the game is never over. It’s not over until it’s over, as Yogi [Berra] said, and it wasn’t.”

Next up for Miami is Boston College, the winners of the Oxford Regional, in a best-of-three series from either June 10-12 or June 11-13. The winner of the NCAA Super Regional advances to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

The Hurricanes, who went a perfect 3-0 over a regional for the first time since 2008, have advanced to back-to-back NCAA Super Regionals for the first time since the 2005 / 2006 seasons.

Miami (48-11) plated runs in each of the first four innings to jump out to a commanding early lead over the Dirtbags, who toppled No. 2 regional seed FAU earlier in the day in an elimination game.

Miami opened the scoring in the first inning on an opposite-field, solo home run from junior catcher Zack Collins crushed over the fence in left-center. The home run, which landed in the adjacent Cobb Stadium complex, was the 38th career blast for Collins, who moved into a three-way tie for eighth place in Miami history with the homer.

Redshirt junior Edgar Michelangeli put Miami ahead 2-0 with an RBI double in the second, and a three-run third – where Miami sent all nine batters to the plate but did not record a hit – pushed the lead to 5-1.

Miami capitalized on a bases-loaded, no-out situation in that inning with sacrifice flies from Willie Abreu and Jacob Heyward, and sophomore Carl Chester was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for the final run.

Freshman Jacob Hughey started for the Dirtbags and made it through the first two innings, but was removed in the third after walking Collins and Brandon Lopez to open the inning.

A two-run home run from Abreu off reliever Chris Rivera highlighted a three-run fourth, where Miami went up 8-1.

Sophomore righthander Jesse Lepore started for Miami and pitched three innings before a precautionary removal due to shoulder tightness. The Dirtbags tagged Miami’s bullpen for seven runs, six of which came in the sixth inning.

Alex Muzzi hit a three-run home run off redshirt freshman Devin Meyer, while freshman Andrew Cabezas was also charged with three runs after allowing a double and two walks.

‘Long Beach State did a great job battling back and for us as a team, we have to understand that 8-1 is not enough,” Morris said. “You have to keep battling. You’ve got to keep scratching away and you’ve got to keep putting runs up on the board.”

The Dirtbags (38-22) tied the game in the eighth on a failed pick-off attempt by freshman Frankie Bartow. With runners on the corners and two outs, Bartow’s throw to first made its way past Barr and scored Jarren Duran.

Junior righthander Ryan Guerra, who had not taken the mound since May 21, set the stage for the late theatrics by striking out the side in the ninth. Guerra (2-1) walked Luke Rasmussen to open the final frame, but struck out three straight batters and celebrated with some emphatic fist-pumping as he walked off the mound.

“I think, for me, one of the things I use to my advantage is my emotions, and I tried to use that the best I can,” Guerra said. “I might not have the most dominant stuff, but I play with a lot of passion and that’s what helps me the most.”

Miami did not face Boston College this season. The Eagles will be making their first-ever trip to an NCAA Super Regional when they arrive in Coral Gables later this week.

Miami placed five players on the NCAA Coral Gables Regional All-Tournament Team: Collins, Chester, Lopez, Willie Abreu and Danny Garcia. Chester was the named the Coral Gables Regional Most Outstanding Player.

“We had some guys that played very well,” Morris said. “I’m very proud of these guys. They’ve played well all season, they’ve battled, they’ve stuck together as a group and different guys have helped us win.”