CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Miami’s offense compiled its most explosive output in over a decade, and the Hurricanes completed a four-game sweep of visiting Rutgers with a resounding 25-4 victory in the series finale Sunday.
Miami (4-0) scored its most runs since May 2, 2003, when the Hurricanes beat Pace 27-1 at Mark Light Field. The resounding win capped off the Hurricanes’ first four-game sweep since they beat Savannah State in four straight – also in 2003.
"It was a great game for us. We played well – in particular, we swung the bat [well]. Sometimes there were a few weeks where we didn’t score 25 runs combined these last few years. I think the [new] ball makes a difference, but I think our guys are stronger too."
12 different Hurricanes recorded hits, eight players recorded multi-RBI games, and the hosts pounded out a 12-run fourth inning to jump out to an 18-4 advantage. Sporting a more-than-comfortable lead by the middle innings, Miami tacked on four runs in the sixth, two more in the seventh and added a solo home run from freshman Malik Rosier in the eighth to surpass the 20-run mark for the first time since 2009.
Junior David Thompson connected on Miami’s first home run of the season, a three-run blast in the game-turning fourth when the Hurricanes sent 16 batters to the plate. Thompson recorded all four of his RBI in the inning, having added a sacrifice fly in his first at bat of the frame.
"It felt good to get the first home run of the season. I got a good pitch to hit and put a pretty good swing on it," Thompson said. "But our whole lineup, everyone swung the bat well today. [The sweep] was a great way to start off our season."
Eusebio opened the game’s scoring in the second, cracking a bases-clearing double off Rutgers starter Gaby Rosa (0-1) to give Miami a 3-0 lead. The hosts tagged Rosa for seven runs (five earned), chasing him after just 3.0 innings.
Eusebio ended the weekend with a robust .583 batting average after finishing 7-for-18 with eight runs scored. He went 2-for-2 with a career high-tying three RBI Sunday, and reached base in all four of his plate appearances – none bigger than the early double that set the tone for the afternoon.
"There were two outs, and I was trying to get a good pitch and put a good swing on the ball," Eusebio said of the hit. "After that, things took off. It’s contagious."
Morris called the hit the "biggest" of the day, after Miami had nearly squandered a prime opportunity with runners in scoring position.
"The two previous guys did not get him in, and all of a sudden, with two strikes, he hits a bullet and all three score," Morris said. "He was our player of the game…he had a great game, but a lot of guys had really good games."
Making his first start of the season, sophomore lefthander Danny Garcia allowed three hits and three earned runs in 3.0 innings of work. Miami’s bullpen allowed just four hits the rest of the way, as senior Daniel Briggi and freshman Andy Honiotes made the first career appearances.
Sophomore righthander Derik Beauprez (1-0), who will start Wednesday’s game against FAU, tossed 2.0 innings of relief and picked up the win.
But the story Sunday was Miami’s offense, which came up with 21 hits against the Scarlet Knights (0-4). Garrett Kennedy, who finished with three doubles, was one of seven Hurricanes to connect for at least one extra-base hit.
Rosier recorded his first career hit on a two-RBI single in the sixth, while freshman Peter Crocitto added his first career hit on a single in the eighth. Junior George Iskenderian finished 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs, while slugger Zack Collins went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
"It’s great to see that. The exciting part of this game is scoring runs…I’m glad to see the run production coming up," Morris said."
The Hurricanes finished the weekend with collective totals of 48 runs and 53 hits, including 22 of the extra-base variety.
"Not too shabby," Thompson joked when asked about his team’s offensive explosion. "We swung the bat great, everyone from Ricky down to Christopher Barr, [hitters] one through nine. All of us are hitting the ball real well and seeing the ball real well. We were hitting with guys in scoring position."
The Hurricanes will make their first road trip of the season Wednesday when they travel to FAU, who swept Connecticut in a season-opening series.
"We’re real confident. It’s a great way to start off the year," Thompson said. "FAU is a really good team, and we have to come out to play Wednesday."