Mark Light Stadium (now Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field)hosted the opening game in the very first college baseball regular season series to be televised on ESPN !
Back in the Fall of 1980, legendary coach Ron Fraser traveled to ESPN's home base in Connecticut to convince the fledgling sports network to televise the first regular season series in history.
Fraser believed a match up between his up and coming Hurricanes and "The Yankees of College Baseball," the University of Southern California Trojans and their legendary coach Rod Dedeaux, would be a big draw. And was he ever right -- the series drew 12,550 fans to The Light and great ratings on ESPN's broadcasts.
Southern Cal had dominated college baseball in the 1970's, winning six of the 10 NCAA College World Series National Championships during the decade. Meanwhile on this side of the country, the 70's saw Fraser and the Hurricanes beginning to leave their own mark on the sport.
They started the nation's longest active streak of NCAA Regional
Tournament appearances in 1973 (now at 41 and counting) and made four Omaha appearances of their own in the decade, including a second place finish in their first CWS visit in 1974.
A crowd of 3,122 packed The Light in the opener of the three-game "East-West Classic," and the Hurricanes took the game 7-6 before a nationally televised cable audience.
Miami would go on to sweep the series from the Trojans, and the ball club won its first 21 games of the 1981 season before suffering its first defeat, then ran off another 18 victories for a phenomenal 39-1 start en route to the nation's No. 1 ranking.
2014 UMSHoF Inductee Jeff Morrison picked up the victory in the Saturday night affair, claiming a 6-3 victory in front of 4,517 fans. Morrison, who was a three-time Academic All American, finished the year with a 12-1 record and a 2.93 earned run average.
The series finale was a 10-9, 13-inning Canes victory in front of 4,911 fans. The club finished with a 61-10 record, and an appearance in the 1981 College World Series.