Behind the powerful arm and masterful pitching performance of Thomas Woodrey, and some timely hitting by Zack Collins and Willie Abreu, the Miami Hurricanes defeated the Columbia Lions 8-3 Saturday night to advance to a potential championship game on Sunday.
Columbia and Florida International will play at 1 pm on Sunday to determine who gets to face Miami again later that evening. If Miami wins that game, the Regional will be over and Miami will advance to play the winner of the Dallas Regional, which not be settled until Monday due to inclement weather in the area which cancelled play today.
Top Seeded Dallas Baptist lost on Friday to Virginia Commonwealth and will have to come out of the losers' bracket if they are going to advance.
In the interim, Miami will face one of the two teams that they have already beaten to get to the Super Regional. Much Like FIU on Friday night, the Lions had no chance as Miami got out of the box quickly and never looked back.
Shortstop Brandon Lopez went 3-for-5 for Miami while Collins went 2-for-5 and had three RBi. Abreu went 2-for-4 on the night with a double and two RBI to pace the Canes.
On the hill, Woodrey scattered six hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings and raised his record to 7-2 on the season. Lions' starter Kevin Lee was chased in the fourth inning and took the loss. His record dipped to 6-4.
The Canes took command of the game in the second inning as they scored four runs on four hits and pounded Lee so hard they took his lunch money.
Abreu opened things up with a double down the left field line scoring David Thompson and Garrett Kennedy to give Miami a quick 2-0 lead. Several batters later Jacob Heyward, who has been starting in left field for Carl Chester, singled to right and scored Lopez from third, while Abreu advanced on the play.
Christopher Barr, who made several tremendous defensive plays on the night for Miami, reached on a fielder's choice that scored Abreu to make it 4-0 Miami.
The Lions scored their three runs on two gopher balls that Woodrey served up and the first came in the home half of the second. The Lions were considered the home team. Gus Craig hit a home run to right field that just missed the Ponce De Leon parking garage and the UM lead was cut to 4-1.
Miami got the run back and more when Collins singled to right in the fourth inning that scored Ricky Eusebio and Abreu.
Columbia got as close as 6-3 when David Vandercock hit a two-run home run to right field in the bottom half of the inning to counter the Miami runs.
Hurricane pitching shut the door on Columbia after that. Woodrey was lifted in favor of Cooper Hammond, who combined with Michael Mediavilla and Bryan Garcia to shutout the Lions over the last five innings of play to put Miami in a position to win the regional Sunday night.