Encinosa Tosses a Beauty in the City Beautiful

March 12, 2011

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: E.J. Encinosa (1-2)
Virginia Tech 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 0 L: Marc Zecchino (2-1)
Miami 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 X 2 7 1 S: Sam Robinson (2)

2B: N. Melendres(2), M. Seaborn(5)
HR: A. Rash(7)
RBI: Z. DeVoss, S. Perez, A. Rash
SB: Z. DeVoss 2(6), S. Perez(4), R. Shaban(2)

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – With Coral Gables named “The City Beautiful”, it was University of Miami sophomore pitcher E.J. Encinosa adding to that splendor Saturday night, hurling 8 2/3 innings in helping the Hurricanes grab a 2-1 win over Virginia Tech in ACC play at Alex Rodriguez Park. The win gave UM the series win over the Hokies, and gave UM its first pair of wins together on the season.

Miami (7-8, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) got the second consecutive impressive start from Encinosa. Suffering a loss last week at Florida in a tough 1-0 decision against the top-ranked Gators, the Miami native got timely hits and run support this time around to earn his first victory on the hill since March 31, 2010.

Encinosa and Virginia Tech starter Marc Zecchino were locked in a pitchers’ duel – the second in as many weeks for Encinosa – heading into the bottom-half of the fifth inning when the Hurricanes finally erased zeros from the scoring column on the scoreboard.

Sophomore Zeke DeVoss knocked a two-out RBI single to right that brought around center fielder Nathan Melendres for the first score of the game, after Melendres doubled to left center to get himself into scoring position a play earlier. One batter later, sophomore shortstop Stephen Perez plated DeVoss with a RBI single to left, giving UMiami the 2-0 lead.

Virginia Tech (10-6, 0-2 ACC) got on the board in the top-half of the seventh when left fielder Andrew Rash tallied his seventh home run of the year with a leadoff round-tripper to left. That cut into the `Canes lead at 2-1.

Encinosa toed the rubber for another 1 2/3 innings until the Hokies threatened in the top of the ninth with a single from Ronnie Shaban, followed by a two-out single from shortstop Tim Smalling. That put a runner in scoring position for just the third time on the night for the Hokies with Shaban standing on second.

Miami head coach Jim Morris elected to go to the bullpen to try and collect the final out of the game, relieving Encinosa after a career-long 8 2/3 innings tossed. He departed with a standing ovation from the crowd of 3,032.

Junior left-hand hurler Sam Robinson came in to face Hokies pinch hitter Chad Pinder, earning his second save of the year, getting Pinder to fly out to right field for the series-clinching out.

For the second-straight week, Encinosa went a career-long on the mound, spreading out five hits and allowing just the one run – Rash’s solo shot in the seventh, and recording three strikeouts and zero walks on 96 pitches. The win bumped Encinosa to 2-1 on the year.

Virginia Tech starter Zecchino threw 91 pitches in a complete five innings for the Hokies, allowing two earned runs on six hits – walking three and striking out four. The loss was his first of the year, dropping his record to 2-1.

Virginia Tech got hits from five different players, highlighted by Rash.

The Hurricanes used the second multi-hit game of the year for first baseman Harold Martinez, with the Miami junior going 2-for-2 at the plate with a sacrifice bunt. DeVoss swiped two bases on the night after walking once and grabbing a RBI single. Perez recorded a RBI with a 1-for-3 showing and a stolen base to boot.

Miami will look to sweep the Hokies tomorrow back at Alex Rodriguez Park in a contest beginning at 1 p.m. The Hokies will throw senior right-hander Joe Parsons (3-0, 0.96 ERA), with Miami countering with sophomore right-hander Eric Whaley (2-1, 3.00 ERA). Whaley is 2-0 at home this year.

For more information on the University of Miami baseball team, please log on to HurricaneSports.com. To follow the UM Baseball Team via twitter, please navigate to Twitter.com/CanesBaseball. You can also access the official UMiami Baseball blog at TheUBaseball.com.

You can keep up-to-date with all UM Athletics via twitter at Twitter.com/HurricaneSports.  You can also become a fan of the `Canes on Facebook at Facebook.com/MiamiHurricanes.


With the win, the Hurricanes are now…
•         7-8 overall
•         2-0 in the ACC
•         16-4 vs. Virginia Tech all-time
•         7-3 at Alex Rodriguez Park this season
•         5-1 when they score first
•         1-4 in second game of series
•         6-5 when UM starting pitcher goes 5 or more innings
•         2-5 when allowing a homerun


The Long Haul
Miami’s E.J. Encinosa threw 96 pitches in eight and two-thirds innings of work. Encinosa earned his first win of the season and now stands at 1-2.

Tonight’s Starters
Harold Martinez and Brad Fieger swapped positions at the corners Friday night and were back at the positions tonight. It is Fieger’s second career start at third and Martinez’ second start of the season at first. Martinez played 10 games at first base during the 2009 season.

Hit Parade
Harold Martinez recorded two singles in tonight for his second multi-hit game this season.

A one, a two…
Southpaw hurler Sam Robinson earned his second save of the season, throwing only two pitches to seal Miami’s 2-1 win over Virginia Tech.

Making a Cameo

Sam Robinson made his 10 appearances to date, including a string of the last six of eight contests this month.