The Miami Hurricanes improved to 16-20 (9-9 ACC) with a dominant win over the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Wednesday night. The win was Miami’s first home mid-week victory of the season, and more importantly it starts off an important five game homestand with a win.
Christopher McMahon was undoubtedly the player of the game for the Hurricanes. The freshman, making just his second collegiate start after an injury, pitched eight strong innings, and probably could have pitched a complete game. He allowed just two hits and didn’t walk a single batter. His only mistake came after a leadoff triple from speedy Marc Coffers in the third inning, when an RBI groundout scored FGCU’s only run of the game to make the score 4-1 Miami at the time.
After a leadoff double in the first inning McMahon retired 22 of the next 24 batters, and Miami took advantage of their pitcher’s strong start by scoring runs in four different innings. The Hurricanes didn’t just use hits to score, although they had eight in the game, they also used walks and smart baserunning to take advantage of nearly every mistake an FGCU pitcher made.
The Hurricanes jumped on those mistakes early, getting two runs in the bottom of the first. A leadoff single from Freddy Zamora jump started the inning, and in the ensuing at-bat Gabe Rivera was hit by a pitch to give Miami two men on. A wild pitch would push Zamora to third, and an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Romy Gonzalez gave Miami an early 1-0 lead. The ‘Canes would even add an early insurance run, when Danny Reyes knocked an RBI single that scored Gonzalez and gave Reyes his first RBI since his injury.
Miami would again score in the next inning. Alex Toral reached with a one-out walk, and he scored all the way from first on a Freddy Zamora double to the corner. The play would chase FGCU’s starter, Peyton Gray, after just one and one third innings pitched. Zamora would make the game 4-0 with some smart base running, using two consecutive wild pitches to score from second.
Miami would be silenced for the next two innings until the bottom of the fifth. Miami led 4-1, but added yet another run on an RBI triple from Gabe Rivera that scored Tyler Paige, who had reached on a walk. Another two walks would give Miami the bases loaded with two outs, but nothing would come of the two out threat and the game stayed at 5-1 Miami.
The Hurricanes put the game out of reach with a three run bottom of the eighth. Hunter Tackett got the inning going with a leadoff single, and an error on a sac-bunt gave Miami runners on the corners. Ray Gil would come up clutch as a pinch hitter, driving a ball deep to centerfield that scored Tackett from third to make the game 6-1. Another wild pitch scored Miami’s seventh run of the night, and an RBI groundout ended the scoring with the game at 8-1.
Daniel Federman came into the game in relief of McMahon, and despite allowing a single and a walk, worked out of the ninth with no damage and kept the score at 8-1. Miami has a favorable schedule for the rest of the season, and this game is hopefully the start of a long stretch of winning baseball for the Hurricanes.
Winning Pitcher: Chris McMahon (1-0, 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
Losing Pitcher: Peyton Gray (2-2, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 0 K)
Pitt vs Miami: Game 1
Date & Time: Friday, April 20, 7:00 PM
Hurricanes Starter: Jeb Bargfeldt (2-3, 4.26 ERA)
Pitt Starter: Dan Hammer (2-2, 9.67 ERA)
Television: ACC Network Extra
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM