CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Sophomore lefthander Michael Mediavilla delivered a dominant start, the Hurricanes offense connected for three home runs, and No. 1 Miami evened its series against Virginia with a 9-2 victory Saturday.
Squaring off against talented Cavaliers lefthander Adam Haseley, Mediavilla (7-1) delivered one of his strongest outings of the season in front of 4,099.
Mediavilla tossed six shutout innings and allowed just one hit over 91 pitches. He did not allow a hit until a two-out single from Matt Thaiss in the fourth, and allowed just two baserunners to reach through his first five innings.
"I was just trying to keep the ball down and letting them continue to put the ball in play," Mediavilla said. "Good things happen with my defense."
Before exiting in the seventh due to shoulder tightness, Mediavilla had struck out four batters and walked five.
"I’m fine," Mediavilla said after the game. "It was some tightness and a three-run lead. No reason to push it."
Redshirt junior Edgar Michelangeli homered for the second straight night, and Miami would eventually solve Haseley in the later innings to set up a rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m.
"It was a big win for us, coming back after last night losing a tough game that we had a chance to win," head coach Jim Morris said.
The Hurricanes plated five insurance runs in the eighth, four of which came on back-to-back home runs from juniors Jacob Heyward (three-run) and Willie Abreu (solo).
Michelangeli, who cracked his first career home run Friday night to jumpstart a late Canes’ rally, crushed his second solo shot in as many days to pad Miami’s lead to 4-0 in the seventh.
"You dream about this when you’re a little kid," Michelangeli said. "Honestly, if you asked me two days ago if I was going to hit two home runs, I would have told you ‘no.’"
Freshman Frankie Bartow pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Mediavilla, and true freshman Isaiah Musa and redshirt freshman Daniel Epstein combined to pitch the ninth.
But the story Saturday was Mediavilla. A week after posting a disappointing outing at Duke, the laidback lefty dominated from the outset against the Cavaliers.
"Just getting ahead of batters and keeping the ball down," Mediavilla said about his mindset. "Last week, I left the ball a little up and had some tough luck with where the ball was going."
Haseley was up to the task in the early going, matching Mediavilla’s early zeroes. The sophomore allowed the leadoff batter to reach in three straight innings, but worked out of any damage to maintain the scoreless deadlock. Brandon Lopez doubled to open the second, Michelangeli singled in the third, and Christopher Barr drew a walk to start the fourth.
Virginia (25-17, 10-10 ACC) threatened in the sixth when Mediavilla briefly lost control of the strikezone and issued three walks. But an impressive double play turned by junior Johnny Ruiz at second and a flyout to the warning track in right from Cavaliers slugger Pavin Smith ended the threat.
The Hurricanes (30-7, 14-4 ACC) finally got to Haseley in the sixth, as they tagged the lefthander for three runs and took advantage of two Cavaliers errors in the inning.
With two runners in scoring position after a double and error, Haseley elected to intentionally walk Zack Collins to load the bases for Lopez.
The senior shortstop, who grounded into a double play with the bases loaded Friday night to end a potential Miami rally, made up for it Saturday with an RBI single to left to open the scoring.
A sacrifice fly to right by Ruiz made it 2-0 in favor of the Hurricanes, and a failed pickoff attempt on a bad throw from Smith at first plated Collins for the third run.
"I think that’s the way we are. We tend to feed off each other," Michelangeli said about the team’s penchant for scoring in bunches. "We have momentum, and we usually have those big breakout innings."
With his second-inning double, Lopez successfully reached base for the 21st straight game. Collins made it 32 straight games with the intentional walk.
"We kind of got rolling there," Morris said. "It started with a bunt, and there were some basehits after that. It was a big win for us."
Haseley (6-2) allowed five hits and four runs (one earned) across his 101-pitch, seven-inning outing. The loss was just the second of the season for the southpaw, who entered the game with a 1.60 ERA.
Ruiz provided Miami with its first insurance run on an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth off reliever David Rosenberger. Heyward then hit a towering three-run home run – his second longball in as many nights - and Abreu provided the exclamation point with a solo blast over the fence in right-center.
The Cavaliers tagged Musa for two runs in the top of the ninth, but Epstein entered and recorded the final out on a popout by Haseley.
The Hurricanes return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Sunday for the series finale with Virginia. First pitch for the rubber match, slated for broadcast on ESPN3 and 560 WQAM, is set for 1 p.m.