College World Series : Ellena’s Four Hits Spark Miami to a 10-6 Win Over Texas in Title Game
Greg Ellena, a junior walk-on, continued his hot hitting and Rick Raether, a right-handed reliever, continued to handcuff opposing hitters in Miami’s 10-6 victory over Texas in the NCAA College World Series title game Tuesday night.
Ellena collected four singles in a 14-hit Miami attack to bring his College World Series total base collection to 22, tying a tournament record. He was named the series’ outstanding player.
“I opened up on my stance a little bit because I knew the pitching was going to be tough. I see the ball better that way,” Ellena said. “I even opened up a little more today.
“We’ve been getting the breaks all season. We must be a team of destiny.”
Raether picked up his third save to go with two wins in the tournament. He stopped Texas over the last 2 innings.
“Coach (Ron Fraser) said, let’s shut the door. That’s all I wanted to do,” said Raether, who struck out Dodd Johnson to end the game. “I wanted to strike him out so bad. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
The championship was Miami’s second in four years. Fraser’s 1982 club also won the title.
“It’s especially great since no one gave us a chance to win and no one picked us to win,” Fraser said. “This is probably the best team ever that we’ve had in my 23 years with the university.
“I’ve never wanted a ballclub to win as bad as I did this one,” he said. “We knew we were going to have to outhit Texas.”
Texas finished second for the second straight year.
“It’s pretty disappointing,” Longhorn Coach Cliff Gustafson said. “This team deserved to finish better than this, not in the placing but in the way the fine game was played. At the end, they showed their heart and that’s what I will always remember about this club.”
It also was the second game in a row that Texas errors played into a Miami win. Miami scored two unearned runs in Sunday’s semifinal. The Longhorns had four errors in the first three innings Tuesday night.
“We played poorly the first four or five innings,” Gustafson said. “It was one of the worst (games of the season). I thought if we could stay close we would have a chance, but they were not to be denied.”
The Hurricanes jumped to a 4-0 lead with the help of four Texas errors in the first three innings. Don Rowland’s ground ball scored the first run and a throwing error allowed another in the first.
Mike Fiore led off a four-run third with a double and scored one out later on a passed ball. Ellena then collected his second hit of the game to chase Texas starter Bruce Ruffin (13-3).
Rusty DeBold and Chris Hart singled to score Ellena. DeBold scored when the hit bounced through Longhorn right fielder Dennis Cook, and Hart came in on another Texas throwing error.
Texas broke the ice when Cook singled home Coby Kerlin in the third. Johnson doubled and David Wrzesinski doubled him home in the Texas fourth to trim the difference to 6-2.
Two singles and a fifth Texas error loaded the bases for Miami in the fifth. Julio Solis then walked one run in and a sacrifice fly to center scored the Hurricanes’ eighth run of the game.