The Miami Hurricanes won their first series of the year with a 7-1 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Tomorrow Miami will send Brian Van Belle to the mound in search of a season-opening sweep for the first time in two seasons.
The top of the first saw Christopher McMahon get off to a good start in the 2019 season. Two strikeouts and a double made it a 1-2-3 inning. Miami didn’t get anything going in the bottom of the inning, and in the second things didn’t go as smoothly for McMahon. A leadoff single from Chris Brito put McMahon in a tough spot, and a hit batter put two men on with one out. A single followed by an error from Tony Jenkins allowed a run to score for RU, and after two Rutgers led 1-0.
Neither team could get anything offensive going until the bottom of the fourth. Adrian Del Castillo ripped a lead off single, and Alex Toral followed by launching a two-run home run to deep right field that stayed just fair. All of the sudden Miami led the game 2-1 after four frames.
McMahon worked a quick top of the fifth, and in the bottom of the fifth the wheels fell off for Harry Rutkowski and Rutgers. Anthony Vilar started the inning off with a leadoff double. Freddy Zamora followed with an infield single that gave Miami runners on the corners with two outs. Adrian Del Castillo then knocked a pitch right back up the middle of the diamond for an RBI single, putting the game at 3-1 in favor of Miami. Eric Reardon, a new pitcher, proceeded to walk the bases loaded, and Michael Amditis responded by roping a two-RBI single up the middle to push the score out to 5-1 in favor of the ‘Canes. Jordan Lala then walked to reload the bases for Miami. After two strikeouts from Chad Crosbie and Willy Escala, Tony Jenkins worked a walk that brought Toral home and made the game 6-1. The last run of the inning came when a wild pitch scored Amditis from third. By the time Rutgers had stopped the bleeding the score stood at 7-1 in favor of the boys in orange and green.
Slade Cecconi then made his debut for Miami in the top of the sixth. He pitched very well over two innings in relief. Allowing just two hits and striking out two. In the top of the eighth Daniel Federman worked a 1-2-3 inning, and JP Gates followed his display with a three strikeout inning in the ninth to wrap up the win for the Hurricanes.
Miami didn’t swing the bat particularly well in this game. While the Hurricanes had nine hits they also struck out ten times and failed to put the ball in play in several important situations. Additionally, fielding mistakes cost the Hurricanes a run, and nearly cost them another run. While it’s nice to get two wins with a combined score of 26-4, there are still things to work on for Miami.
Winning Pitcher: Chris McMahon (1-0, 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
Losing Pitcher: Harry Rutkowski (0-1, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K)
Date & Time: Sunday, February 17, 12:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Brian Van Belle (5-1, 4.15 ERA at Broward College)*
Rutgers Starter: Tevin Murray (0-1, 5.09 ERA)*
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM / 990 ESPN Deportes
Television: ACC Network Extra