CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Fourth-ranked Miami finished off its first ACC sweep of the season Sunday afternoon, as the Hurricanes topped No. 17 Clemson 10-5 in the series finale at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
After capturing back-to-back walk-off wins to open the series, the Hurricanes moved into sole possession of first place in the ACC Coastal Division with a much less dramatic victory.
The win was the ninth for Miami in its last 10 games and 15th in the last 17 tries.
"You can have a good weekend and win two of three, or you can have a great weekend and sweep," head coach Jim Morris said. "That was the message I delivered the team – ‘let’s get after these guys, and let’s get a sweep.’"
With its bullpen depleted after two lengthy night games, the Hurricanes (20-4, 7-2 ACC) received seven strong innings from junior lefthander Danny Garcia when they needed it most.
Garcia (4-2) scattered eight hits and just one walk with three strikeouts. All three runs allowed came on solo homers, which was perfectly okay with Garcia.
"I was just trying to [make Clemson] put the ball in play," Garcia said. "I wasn’t thinking strikeout or anything. I had three mistakes, which were the solo home runs, but they didn’t affect us. I’d rather allow that than walking guys for more runs, which didn’t happen."
The Hurricanes out-hit the Tigers 14-13, and played error-free baseball. Clemson (17-6, 5-4 ACC) made three errors.
"Clemson has a very good club, and we played well all weekend, starting with our defense," Morris said. "We made a lot of plays. Today was nice coming out to try to get a sweep…against a club like [Clemson], that’s something that really helps you in the national spotlight."
Sophomore Carl Chester led the offense by reaching base five times from the leadoff spot.
A catalyst for the Hurricanes offense, Chester reached base 13 times on the weekend to raise his on-base percentage to .473.
"Just being patient and taking a lot of pitches," Chester said about his approach against the Tigers. "I think I walked five times, but just being a leadoff hitter and trying to get on base for my team."
RBI singles from Peter Crocitto and Chester in the fourth put Miami ahead 3-1, and a five-run fifth where the Hurricanes sent 11 batters to the plate padded the lead to 8-1.
Miami tagged Clemson starter Alex Eubanks for eight hits and seven runs in just four innings.
Eubanks (2-2) walked four batters and struck out two.
An RBI single from Johnny Ruiz, an RBI groundout from Willie Abreu, a sacrifice fly from junior Edgar Michelangeli and a bases-loaded walk drawn by junior Zack Collins helped ease any stress for the 2,480 in attendance.
Though he allowed two solo home runs in the top of the sixth, Garcia said he was focused on forgetting about the mistakes and moving on to the next batter.
Chase Pinder (twice), Chris Okey and Seth Beer all homered for the Tigers.
Redshirt freshman Keven Pimentel allowed five hits over 1.2 innings in relief, while freshman Isaiah Musa recorded the final out by getting the dangerous Beer on a groundout to first base.
The Hurricanes travel to play FAU Wed., March 30. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on 560 WQAM, is set for 6:30 p.m.