'Canes Rout Alabama At CWS

Miami's Alex Santos didn't have his best stuff and it was still more than enough to end Alabama's 16-game winning streak.

Santos threw a four-hitter, Kevin Brown homered off the left field foul pole and Miami collected 14 hits in an 8-1 victory over Alabama at the College World Series on Sunday.

Santos (12-3), a fourth-round draft pick by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays earlier this month, saw the end of a 13-inning streak in Omaha without allowing an earned run but he didn't give up much more.

Related Links

Game Summary

A lanky right-hander who relies on precisely placed fastballs, Santos hit one batter and walked four but still struck out six in 6 2-3 innings.

"I don't think it was as good as it has been in the past," Santos said. "Thankfully enough, I was able to throw strikes when I had to. But my control wasn't what it was supposed to be."

The top-seeded Hurricanes (48-13) helped Santos by scoring three runs in the seventh to stretch a 3-1 lead and break open a pitching duel with Alabama's Manny Torres (10-3).

Michael Neu threw the last 2 1-3 innings to earn his 14th save. He replaced Santos with runners at first and second and two outs. Neu walked the first batter he faced to load the bases but got G.W. Keller to fly out.

The fifth-seeded Crimson Tide (52-15) fell into a loser's bracket game Tuesday. Alabama will meet the winner of Sunday night's game between Oklahoma State and Rice, while Miami won't play again until Wednesday.

Santos allowed only an infield hit through five innings but Phillips hit a leadoff double in the top of the sixth to stretch his SEC-record hitting streak to 35 games.

Keller followed with a first-pitch double to the corner in left, scoring Phillips to pull the Tide within 2-1. It was the first earned run off Santos at the CWS since he lost to Alabama as a freshman in the 1997 tournament.

Santos responded by striking out Jeremy Brown, Kelley Gulledge and Darren Wood.

"We just didn't do a good job of hitting the ball," Phillips said. "Probably the first 25 or 30 pitches he threw were fastballs. If you can't hit a fastball this time of the year, something's wrong."

Brown gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead when he hit the first pitch in the bottom of the fourth off the left field foul pole.

"We were hitting the ball hard but not getting too many breas," Brown said. "I was lucky to get a first-pitch fastball. I think that kind of picked us up and got us going."

Miami coach Jim Morris, standing in the third base coach's box, followed the flight of the ball, then raised his hand to signal the homer. A second later, so did third base umpire Randy Burns.

"It was a big part of the game. I don't know if you could say it was the turning point but it helped us relax," Morris said. "It put us ahead and most of the time the team that gets ahead is going to win."

The Hurricanes extended the lead to 2-0 in the fifth when Brian Seever drew a two-out walk and moved to third on a single by Manny Crespo. The ball dropped in front of diving Alabama left fielder Darren Wood.

Crespo took a big lead off first to lure Torres into a pickoff attempt, and Seever raced home and crossed the plate before first baseman Jeremy Brown could tag Crespo for the third out.

Miami made it 3-1 in the sixth. Lale Esquivel led off with a bloop double that dropped as center fielder Keller bumped into second baseman Sam Bozanich. Mike Rodriguez singled over third to score Esquivel.

Torres went 6 1-3 innings, allowing six earned runs and 10 hits while striking out eight.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed