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Miami 12, FAU 4; Hurricanes Dominate Owls in Exhibition Game

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The Gino DiMare era of Hurricanes Baseball got off to a strong start on Saturday.

Tony Capobianco/State of The U

The Miami Hurricanes were impressive in their fall scrimmage game, dominating the visiting Florida Atlantic Owls by a score of 12-4 at Mark Light Field. Gino DiMare has gotten off on the right foot in Coral Gables, and we’ll see how this early success transfers to truly competitive games in the Spring.

The rules for this game were a little different, there were 12 innings played, four pitchers took the mound for Miami, and there were five batters per side in an inning, no matter what.

Chris McMahon started the game out for the Hurricanes, and was very impressive. He allowed just three baserunners over the first 13 batters he faced, and the only blemish on his record was a two run homerun allowed right at at the end of his outing. It should be noted that the homerun came after McMahon had forced three outs in the “inning” so in a real game, he wouldn’t have allowed a run.

Miami couldn’t get anything going offensively until the top of the fifth. The Hurricanes got the bases loaded with one out, and a fielder’s choice scored their first run of the afternoon. Once again, in a real game, the Hurricanes would’ve had a chance for more runs, but as it stood the game was at 2-1 FAU through five innings.

Greg Veliz would put together a strong performance through his three innings, giving the ‘Canes the chance to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Chad Crosbie, a transfer from Saddleback Junior College, roped a one-out single that was followed by a double from Dylan Cloonan. A walk loaded the bases, and then freshman JP Gates knocked a bases-clearing double to right field that made the game 4-2 in favor of Miami.

In the bottom of the seventh Miami would tack on two more runs, a leadoff single from Chet Moore would set up an Anthony Vilar RBI triple. Then Adrian Del Castillo knocked an RBI single through the left side of the infield that scored Vilar from third and made the game 6-2 in favor of the ‘Canes.

Freshman Slade Cecconi would pitch the seventh, eighth, and ninth, and the righthander was dominant. He allowed just three hits, struck out six, including four in one inning, and allowed just one run, which came after he was frazzled by a comebacker that left his elbow bleeding. Watching Cecconi in person, he was very impressive. He had the FAU hitters off balance constantly, and in one stretch he struck out three hitters in a row on around 15 pitches without even breaking a sweat. Miami could have a really good one on their hands here, along with JP Gates, who we’ll get to later.

In the bottom of the eighth Miami tacked on two more runs. Cal Conley legged out an infield hit, and through a walk from Michael Montes and good baserunning from Conley the Hurricanes put runners on the corners. A wild pickoff attempt scored Conley and moved Montes to third, and a Kam Lane double off the wall in left pushed Montes home before the inning was cut short by the five batter rule.

The Hurricanes would do yet more damage in the bottom of the ninth, when Gabe Rivera knocked a moonshot that hit a palm tree in left field, by the time Cecconi was off the mound at the end of nine Miami held a 9-3 lead.

JP Gates would pitch the last three innings of the game for Miami, and his outing was perfect besides a run that was allowed through an error. Much like Cecconi, in Gates first inning he fanned four of the five batters he faced, and also struck out six. Miami would add on three runs in the bottom of the twelfth, including a two-run homerun from Michael Montes, that brought the final score to 12-4 in favor of the ‘Canes.

This was a really impressive performance from the Hurricanes, once the offense got going the game wasn’t competitive. The pitching staff dominated and would’ve only allowed two runs under normal game rules. Additionally, the freshmen class was very impressive for Miami, and as a group they put together several really strong at-bats.

We’ll see if Miami can continue this play into the competitive season come February, but there are a lot of reasons to be excited if you’re a ‘Canes fan.