The Miami Hurricanes are 22-25 (11-13 ACC) after their fifth consecutive win Wednesday. Miami needs to continue this run of good play as they push to make the NCAA Tournament. While the win was encouraging there was one notable bad moment in this game, it came when senior Michael Burns left the game with what looked like a severe cramp. Hopefully his exit was precautionary, because otherwise the Hurricanes will need to find a quick solution to fill in the offensive hole he leaves in the lineup.
Miami used a strong start from Andrew Cabezas, who made a surprise midweek start, to jump on FGCU early. In the bottom of the second the Hurricanes put a run on the board after Dylan Cloonan drove in Romy Gonzalez, who had previously walked, moved to second on a steal, and gone to third on a Danny Reyes single. Miami would add on yet another run in the bottom of the third. Willy Escala walked and then took second and third on a botched pick off attempt. Michael Burns then knocked Escala in with a hard hit groundout to short, giving Miami a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth it appeared as if Cabezas would work another quick inning for Miami. He quickly got an out in the inning, and it appeared as if he had gotten the second out before an error at shortstop gave FGCU a runner at first. After that three walks scored FGCU’s only run of the night, and cut Miami’s lead to just one. Fortunately Cabezas got two consecutive strikeouts to end the inning and prevent more damage.
In the bottom of the sixth the ‘Canes tacked on some insurance runs. Tony Jenkins started the inning off with a leadoff single, but Isaac Quinones, who was just about the only Hurricane who struggled at the plate tonight, grounded into a double play that erased the threat. Romy Gonzalez then came to the plate, and with two outs, was hit by a pitch that gave Miami a baserunner. Romy then stole second to put himself in scoring position and take the team lead in stolen bases. Dylan Cloonan then came to the plate looking to continue his recent run of solid play, and he did just that, connecting for an RBI double that scored Gonzalez and made the game 3-1, but the Hurricanes weren’t done yet. The Hurricanes loaded the bases for freshman Ray Gil, and the young first baseman drove a bases-loaded base hit to give Miami a 5-1 lead after six.
The Hurricanes added even more runs to their tally in the bottom of the seventh. Freddy Zamora led off the inning with a single, and moved to second on a Tony Jenkins sacrifice bunt. Isaac Quinones would give Miami a second baserunner with a walk. Romy Gonzalez would then drive in Zamora with an RBI single and Miami led 6-1. Both Quinones and Gonzalez would try to advance on a passed ball, but Gonzalez was caught at second, so Isaac Quinones would become Miami’s only runner in scoring position. Fortunately Miami still took advantage of the opportunity, and Danny Reyes knocked a base hit into left that scored Isaac from third.
With Miami holding a 7-1 lead after seven the Hurricanes just wanted to close out the game and look ahead to an important weekend series with Virginia Tech. They did just that, after a very short two pitch appearance from Michael Mediavilla, which saw him give up a single and immediately be relieved. Cooper Hammond went to the mound to finish the game for the ‘Canes. Hammond looked good in his appearance, and logged two clean innings for the Hurricanes and closed out the win.
This sets Miami up for a huge weekend series against Virginia Tech. VT is one of the weakest teams in the ACC, and if the Hurricanes can perform well they could see themselves back at .500 by the end of the day Sunday. The ‘Canes need to treat every game as a must win from now on, because frankly they can’t really afford to lose any more games.
Winning Pitcher: Andrew Cabezas (6-4, 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 7 K)
Losing Pitcher: Evan Lumbert (6-3, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K)
@VT Game 1
Date & Time: Friday, May 11, 6:00 PM
Hurricanes Starter: Jeb Bargfeldt (3-4, 3.62 ERA)
VT Starter: Ian Seymour (3-2, 3.18 ERA)
Television: ACC Network Extra
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM