Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wait Till Next Year

What a great year it has been for baseball...Two Perfect Games...Three...if you are a fan of instant replay..I am not...for the record. And then in college, there's Garrett Wittels who was on track to break the all time consecutive game hit record...an incredible feat. Good story on ESPN...

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Rockin' Robin will have to wait until next season, but Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels can now identify a bit with Joltin' Joe.

Wittels extended his hitting streak to 56 games on Saturday -- the same number of Joe DiMaggio's major league-record hit streak in 1941 -- but the Golden Panthers were eliminated with a 15-9 loss to Dartmouth in the NCAA Coral Gables regional.

Top Division I Hitting Streaks
FIU's Garrett Wittels' 56-game hitting streak is just two games shy of Robin Ventura's NCAA record, which he set with Oklahoma State.
Streak Player
58 Robin Ventura, 1987
56* Garrett Wittels, 2010
47 Phil Stephenson, 1981
45 Roger Schmuck, 1971
42 Chuck Abbott, 1996
* -- active

Wittels hit an RBI double in the first inning, leaving him two games shy of the Division I record set by Oklahoma State's Robin Ventura in 1987. Wittels, a sophomore, will attempt to break the mark when he resumes the streak next season.

"It definitely means a lot," Wittels said. "Joe DiMaggio is one of the greatest players of all time."

Wittels went 3 for 5 and finished the season with a .417 average and a FIU season-record 100 hits. He broke the previous school mark of 98 by Kenny Aderley in 1986.

"There are a couple of balls that I have kept [during the streak]," Wittels said. "This is one I'm going to keep."

Wittels began the streak with a bunt single in the Golden Panthers' season-opening game against Maryland on Feb. 19.

"I've seen a lot of great things but this is a streak of consistency," FIU coach Turtle Thomas said. "Just imagine, this is June 5th and he's gotten a hit every game he's played. That's pretty strong."

FIU (36-25) failed to provide Wittels another game to extend the streak this season after squandering an early four-run lead against Dartmouth.

Jason Brooks put Dartmouth (27-18) ahead for good with a tie-breaking grand slam in the sixth for a 12-8 lead.

"I was looking for an off-speed pitch and the pitcher hung a changeup," Brooks said. "Even when we went down there was no worry or panic."

Cole Sulser (8-0) allowed two runs in five relief innings for the win. Nick Polizanno (4-5) took the loss.

The victory was Dartmouth's first in a regional tournament since 1987.

"The reason this feeling is so good is because of the kids I coach," Dartmouth coach Bob Whalen said. "Our kids were incredibly tough and poised."

The Big Green will play a second elimination game Sunday against the loser of the Miami-Texas A&M game later Saturday.

Dartmouth erased a 6-2 deficit with a five-run third and chased FIU starter Aaron Arboleya. Zack Bellenger's two-run home run off Polizano gave Dartmouth a 7-6 lead.

Bellenger tied it 8-all with his second home run in the fifth. The Golden Panthers had gone ahead in the top of the inning on Yoandy Barroso's home run and Sean Reilly's run-scoring single.

FIU scored five runs in the second, keyed by Tim Jobe's two-run home run.

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