Slade Cecconi dominated and Miami’s bats scored in every inning but two as the Hurricanes earned their first sweep of the season Sunday afternoon against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The Hurricanes got off to a strong start yet again. Starter Slade Cecconi set down Rutgers in order in the top of the first. In the bottom of the inning, a double from Tony Jenkins followed by an RBI single from Adrian Del Castillo gave the ‘Canes an early lead, but Miami wasn’t done in the inning. Another double, this time from Ray Gil, put runners on the corners, and a walk loaded the bases. Gabe Rivera then drew a bases loaded walk to make the score 2-0 Hurricanes after one.
In the second the Hurricanes struck again. Jordan Lala was hit by a pitch to start the rally, and a single and a walk loaded the bases for Ray Gil. A wild pitch advanced all three runners, letting Lala score. Ray Gil then knocked a grounder to the second baseman that should’ve been the second out, but it dribbled under his glove letting two runs score. As a result, Miami led 5-0 after two frames.
Miami scored again in the bottom of the third, three consecutive singles from Gabe Rivera, Anthony Vilar, and JP Gates scored the first run. Then, a beautiful sac-bunt from Tyler Paige made the score 7-0 after three.
Slade Cecconi settled into the ballgame, throwing 5.1 innings of no-hit baseball before he ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. Two one-out singles put runners on the corners for the Scarlet Knights, and a walk loaded the bases. Mike Nyisztor then drove a ball to right for a sac-fly, giving Rutgers their first run of the afternoon.
In the bottom of the frame the Hurricanes responded. Ray Gil was hit by a pitch to start the frame, and Alex Toral walked to give Miami two men on with nobody out. Anthony Vilar then roped a double to right-center that scored both Gil and Toral and gave Miami a 9-1 lead. Vilar then stole second and Isaac Quinones walked to put runners on the corners with Austin Pollak at-bat. A wild pitch from Rutgers reliever Eric Reardon scored Vilar to make Miami’s lead 10-1. After that, Pollak and Chet Moore struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh Jake Garland relieved Slade Cecconi. Cecconi had a fantastic first start of the season, allowing just two hits over six innings while striking out eight. Garland had a great inning in relief, striking out the side on 11 pitches in his first appearance as a Hurricane.
The Hurricanes again extended their lead in the bottom of the seventh. Chad Crosbie led off the inning with a double, and a hit-by-pitch and a walk loaded the bases for Alex Toral. Toral was then hit by a pitch which made the score 11-1. Then, Anthony Vilar grounded into a fielder’s choice that scored the Hurricanes 12th run of the game.
In the top of the eighth Rutgers put together a rally. An error by Josh Lauck allowed Danny DiGeorgio to reach first base to lead off the inning, and then Peter Serruto launched a ball off the scoreboard in leftfield to make the score 12-3. Spencer Bodanza then entered the game for Miami and allowed a three-run home run to Mike Nyisztor, but Nyisztor passed Kevin Welsh on the basepaths, so only two runs counted, making the score 12-5. Things got worse after that, with Chris Brito hitting a solo home run to make the score 12-6. After that Spencer Bodanza and Miami got out of the inning with a 12-6 lead still intact.
The ‘Canes got on the board in response in the bottom of the eighth. An error, single, and a walk loaded the bases for Josh Lauck. Lauck then walked, scoring Miami’s 13th run of the afternoon.
In the top of the ninth Alex Munroe allowed just one single and Miami earned their first sweep of the season with a 13-6 win. The ‘Canes now move to their first mid-week matchup against Kent State.
Winning Pitcher: Slade Cecconi (1-0, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)
Losing Pitcher: Tevin Murray (0-1, 1.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K)
Vs Kent State
Date & Time: Wednesday, February 19, 6:00 P.M. Eastern
Hurricanes Starter: Not announced
Kent State Starter: Not announced
Radio: WVUM 90.5 FM
Television: ACC Network Extra