Story Courtesy UM
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 12 Miami stretched its winning streak to eight straight games Sunday, toppling visiting NYIT 19-1 in another dominant performance at Mark Light Field.
A second-inning grand slam from red-hot sophomore Zack Collins gave Miami an early lift, and junior righthander Enrique Sosa cruised to his sixth win at home in seven starts to finish off another weekend sweep.
"It was a good win for us," head coach Jim Morris said. "A lot of guys played well, pitchers and hitters. We played good defense all weekend...it's a nice way to go into this last week of the season. Hopefully our confidence is up."
Miami (38-13) outhit the Bears 13-4, drew nine walks and had eight hit batters. The Hurricanes, outscoring opponents by a 114-10 margin over their winning streak, totaled 58 runs over the three-game series.
Collins, hitting .533 (16-for-30) with seven home runs and 25 RBI over the streak, connected for his second slam of the season to continue his torrid stretch at the plate.
"I don't know what to say. I guess I'm just seeing the ball well," Collins said. "It happens to everybody at one part of the season, where you go on a tear. Everyone's had it. I guess it's my time."
Sosa (7-3) was typically dominant on the home mound, losing a no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth on an RBI single from Josh Canabal.
It was the only hit the Panama native allowed, as he struck out six batters on 75 pitches before being removed after six innings with the game's outcome in hand.
Sosa's home ERA remained at an impressive 1.04 after the outing.
"I pitch on that mound the whole fall and in the spring," Sosa said. "I feel confident on the mound. If I have my best, I don't think anyone can beat me at home."
While Sosa dominated, the Bears staff struggled with control. Collins was one of four batters hit by a pitch, while senior Garrett Kennedy tied the program record by getting hit in three different at bats.
"It was hot out there, they're probably not used to it," Collins said. "[Garrett] wasn't too happy about it. He was catching out there in the heat today and he got hit three times. Rough day."
Junior David Thompson opened the scoring by getting hit by a pitch from Bears starter Elias Martinez (2-6) with the bases loaded in the first. A sacrifice fly from Kennedy made it 2-0.
Collins padded Miami's lead to a sizable 6-0 with his third career grand slam. The home run was his 12th of the season, and briefly put him within one of team home run leader David Thompson. But five innings later, Thompson connected on a three-run blast - Miami's eighth home run on the weekend.
"I definitely did not get all of it," Collins said. "With the way the wind blows here, on a ball hit to left-center, you never know how far it's going to go."
A three-run fifth inning helped put the game away for the Hurricanes. Two runs scored via wild pitch sandwiched around an RBI groundout from Edgar Michelangeli made it 10-0 in favor of the Hurricanes.
Sophomore Jacob Heyward made the start in left field and finished 3-for-4 with two walks, while pinch hitter Johnny Ruiz went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
With only a season series rubber match with FAU (Tuesday) and an ACC series against Georgia Tech (Thursday-Saturday) remaining before the start of the postseason, Morris said the team's final week of the season is critical.
"We're playing for a national seed. Every game is important," Morris said. "We're playing to be able to host, and we need to finish strong in this last week. We need to play well in the ACC Tournament to make our goal of being a top-eight team a possibility."
Miami returns to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Tuesday for its season series rubber match vs. FAU. First pitch for the game, slated for broadcast on Canes All-Access and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6 p.m..