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Hurricanes 5, FAU 2: The Losing Streak is Broken.

The Hurricanes finally escaped their losing habits.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Miami vs UC Santa Barbara Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Hurricanes finally stopped their losing streak, earning a victory in the midweek game on the road vs the Florida Atlantic Owls.

The game started slowly and quietly, until in the top of the third when Carl Chester hit a homerun to put the Hurricanes up 1-0.

Greg Veliz then found himself in a jam in the bottom of the third, but the freshman showed a lot of maturity in his first start, and he quickly got a crucial strikeout to prevent any damage.

Unfortunately in the top of the fourth freshman Michael Amditis was carted off the field with a leg injury. There hasn’t been an update on his condition yet, but if he is out for an extended period of time that will be a big loss for Miami.

In the top of the fifth the Hurricanes tried to start another rally, but after a sac-bunt to move a runner into scoring position, the threat passed with a harmless Carl Chester fly-ball.

In the bottom of the inning Greg Veliz walked the first two batters, and as a result Jim Morris pulled him in favor of Albert Maury Jr. On a beautiful bunt from FAU the bases became loaded with no outs, and the Hurricanes were in serious danger of losing the lead. A bases-loaded walk tied the game at 1-1, and an attempted double-play turn was a little too slow and the batter was safe at first, a run scored on the play, and FAU led 2-1.

Things almost got out of hand for freshman Evan McKendry in the bottom of the sixth, when FAU had two runners on with no outs, but once again a young pitcher showed maturity, and Mckendry forced two consecutive fly-outs.

In the top of the seventh Carl Chester started things off right for the Hurricanes, drawing a leadoff walk, and a Nico Baldor chop single put runners on the corners with no outs. Shortstop Brandon Gali then hit a nice single into left, and the game was tied at 2-2, but the Canes’ weren’t done. James Davison then executed a perfect drag bunt, and a run scored, the Hurricanes led 3-2 with no one out still, and the rally continued. Carl Chester then loaded the bases on the ensuing at-bat with a beautiful bunt of his own. Johnny Ruiz then came to the plate, and he dropped a 2 RBI single into left, and gave the Hurricanes a 5-2 lead they would never relinquish.

The set-up and closer duo of Andrew Cabezas and Frankie Bartow were then called upon to finish the game. Cabezas hit a batter with the first pitch of the bottom of the seventh, but he managed to prevent any damage by forcing a huge strikeout.

The Hurricanes got nothing going in the top of the eighth, and Cabezas stayed in for the bottom of the frame. This time Cabezas wanted no drama, and he worked through the FAU batters on 5 pitches.

The Hurricanes once again did nothing in the top of the ninth, and Frankie Bartow was called out of the bullpen to close out the game. Bartow did allow a hit, but ultimately he shut down the FAU batters, and the Hurricanes took the game 5-2.

This game proved what Miami can do if they use the small-ball. Bunting for base hits and to move runners over propelled the Hurricanes to the success they had in the seventh inning. This game also serves to prove how important young players are to this team, freshman pitcher Greg Veliz put in a strong performance in his start, and the two freshman middle-relievers got strikes and outs when they needed them most. Now let’s continue all of this over the weekend.

Game Stats:

Winning Pitcher: Evan McKendry (1-0, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1.0 IP)

Losing Pitcher: Kyle Marman (0-1, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1.0 IP)

Save: Frankie Bartow (2)

Next Game:

Versus Dartmouth Big Green at The Light

Date & Time: Friday, March 3, 7:00 P.M Eastern

Hurricanes Starter: Jesse Lepore (1-1)

Radio: WVUM 90.5

Television: ACC Network Extra