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COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

A Good and Bad Day for Miami Star

June 03, 1998|From Associated Press

OMAHA — Pat Burrell's college baseball career ended about a week too soon.

Burrell, selected Tuesday as the No. 1 pick in the major league draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, had his amateur career end the same afternoon when Miami was eliminated from the College World Series in a 6-3 loss to Long Beach State.

Being drafted No. 1 is "a very positive thing, and I'm happy about it," Burrell said. "But we came here to win and losing today was very frustrating."

Miami (51-12) at least managed to win a game during the series, more than the other two highly seeded teams from Florida managed. Top-seeded Florida and No. 2 Florida State were the first two teams eliminated from the eight-team field, and the second loss by third-seeded Miami ended the tournament for the state.

Chuck Lopez's high-bouncing grounder in the ninth drove in two runs, breaking a 3-3 tie as Long Beach State avenged a first-round loss to Miami, the only victory in seven games by a Florida team in the tournament.

Burrell was two for three with two singles and a walk, and he also reached on an error. He finished with a .432 batting average.

The 49ers (43-22-1) loaded the bases against Miami's ace closer, Robbie Morrison (2-2), who earlier Tuesday was drafted in the second round by the Kansas City Royals.

Lopez's bouncer went over the head of Miami second baseman Manny Crespo, scoring Jason Yount from third and Sam Monroy from second, the latter beating a throw to the plate to put Long Beach State ahead, 5-3.

"I was trying to get some pitch that was up," Lopez said. "It seemed as if he was throwing a hard curve and a slider, so I was trying to sit on the fastball. That didn't work, so I hit a good curveball."

Terrmel Sledge moved to third on the hit and scored on Morrison's wild pitch.

"We swung the bats really well over the course of the season. We had a lot of big blowouts. But here, we didn't swing the bats with any authority," Hurricane Coach Jim Morris said.

Miami, ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season, scored only eight runs in three World Series games.

Long Beach closer Jason Marr got his ninth save by retiring the side in the bottom of the ninth. German Alvarez struck out looking before Rick Saggese and Brian Seever flied to center.

Dennis Kordich (5-4), who entered with a runner on and two outs in the seventh, struck out Jason Michaels to end the threat. Kordich walked Burrell to begin the eighth, but the 49ers got their third double play and Jacobson then grounded to second.

After the final out, Burrell buried his head in his hands in the dugout.

Justin Hall had a solo homer as Long Beach built a 2-0 lead and Miami tied it in the bottom of the inning on a two-run homer by Aubrey Huff.

Miami led, 3-2, after Bobby Hill's single scored Saggese in the fifth. Long Beach tied it in the sixth on Yount's single that brought in Mike Hota.

*

Eddy Furniss said he made the right decision when he spurned the 1997 amateur draft and returned to Louisiana State.

The senior first baseman won the Dick Howser Award, which goes to the nation's most outstanding college player as selected by the American Baseball Coaches Assn. The award is named after the former Florida State coach and Kansas City Royals manager who died in 1987.

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