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Bats Come Alive as `Canes Sweep Away Hokies

March 13, 2011

Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Eric Whaley (3-1)
Virginia Tech 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0 L: Joe Parsons (3-1)
Miami 0 2 1 0 0 7 1 0 X 11 9 0  

2B: M. Broad, N. Melendres, M. Seaborn, A. Rash
3B: N. Melendres
RBI: H. Martinez (4), S. Perez (2), R. Rodriguez (2), C. Mack, B. Fieger, N. Melendres, T. Smalling
SB: S. Perez, R. Rodriguez

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by Rob Dunning

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – In what was the most complete game the ‘Canes have played all season, the University of Miami secured a series sweep over visiting Virginia Tech with an easy 11-1 win Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park.

UM’s pitching was the story all weekend, as seven hurlers combined to allow just three runs over 27 innings against the Hokies.

On Sunday, however, the Hurricane hitters deserve much of the credit.

Miami scored a season-high 11 runs – thanks in part to a big seven-run sixth inning – to pull away from Virginia Tech and move to 8-8 overall and 3-0 in league play.

For the third straight day, Miami got another stellar outing from its starter as Eric Whaley allowed just three hits while striking out eight in seven scoreless innings for his team-leading third win of the season. Adam Sargent and Javi Salas each tossed an inning in relief to finish out the game for the ‘Canes.

While Whaley headlined Miami’s day on Sunday, it was the Hurricanes’ bats that also deserve some of the credit for the comfortable win. Six of the nine in UM’s starting lineup finished with at least one hit, including Nathan Melendres, who finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. He finished a homer shy of the cycle, recording a third-inning single, sixth-inning double and seventh-inning triple to dead center.

Melendres, who is working his way back from a hand injury suffered a few weeks back, was a much-needed spark for a line-up still trying to find its way.

Harold Martinez also broke out of a little bit of a slump, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, a pair of sacrifice bunts and a game-high four RBI. He now has four hits in his last four official at-bats.

Miami jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning when a Brad Fieger walk and a Michael Broad double was followed by a Martinez two-run single through the left side.

The next inning, Mack’s fielder’s choice grounder to short scored Zeke DeVoss from third for Miami’s third run of the game.

The game stayed 3-1 in Miami’s favor until the big sixth inning, which saw Miami bat around and record four hits and six walks, as Virginia Tech (10-7, 0-3 ACC) reliever Sean McDermott struggled with his command.

Miami added another run in the seventh before the Hokies plated their lone run in the ninth on a single to left off the bat of Tim Smalling.

Hokies starter Joe Parsons had his worst outing of the season in a losing effort. The senior right-hander, who had allowed just two earned runs in 19 innings coming in, was tagged for three earned runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings before he was pulled for Jake Atwell, who was the first of five relievers the Hokies would use the rest of the way.

Michael Seaborn had three of the Hokies’ six hits on the day, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Broad reached base in his first three at-bats, doubling in the second before drawing walks in the fourth and sixth. Rony Rodriguez also went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

In the weekend series sweep, Melendres finished batting .455 with five hits (two double and a triple), four runs and a run driven in. Stephen Perez averaged .400 even at the plate, tallying four RBI on four hits – including a double – while scoring twice and stealing four bases in four attempts.

The UM pitchers accounted for a weekend ERA of 1.00. The team allowed just three earned runs on 15 hits, while striking out 21 Hokies batters. The average against for the club was just .161 in the series.

The Hurricanes will return to action when they host FAU Tuesday at 6 p.m.

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…

  • 8-8 overall
  • 3-0 in the ACC
  • 17-4 vs. Virginia Tech all-time
  • 8-3 at Alex Rodriguez Park this season
  • 7-4 in games when the opponent starts a right-handed pitcher
  • 6-1 when they score first
  • 3-1 in series finales

Runs Come Across
Sunday’s 11 runs scored was the highest runs production for the Hurricanes all season. The previous high was 10 against Appalachian State in the series finale on February 26.

Tonight’s Starters
Six of today’s starters collected hits, while all nine starters reached base safely. Harold Martinez posted multiple hits for the second time in as many games (third time this year), knocking in a season-high four RBI. Nathan Melendres registered a season-high three hits, adding a RBI and scoring twice. Rony Rodriguez and Stephen Perez both tallied multiple RBI.

Start Your Engines
Sophomore right-hander Eric Whaley had another solid production in his fourth start of the year. The Pompano Beach, Fla., native went seven innings on the hill, spreading out three hits with no runs, no walks and striking out eight batters. Whaley has a team second-best 23 strikeouts on the year.

Welcome Back, Welcome Back
After Starting the season off slow, junior Harold Martinez has seemingly found his groove. After moving from third base to third two games ago, the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American has posted hits in each of his last four at-bats, as well as laying down three perfectly executed sacrifice bunts and driving in four runs.

Playing Miami Baseball
Scoring 11 runs on nine hits meant Miami scored runs with guys on base, moving them over with bunts and driving them in with timely hits. Miami began the game with three consecutive bunt singles. UM has tallied five-plus hits in each of the last six games, including 14 against Illinois State (March 8).

Walking the Line

Miami showed great plate awareness on Sunday, drawing 10 walks from six Virginia Tech pitchers. The 10 walks taken was a season-high for the ‘Canes.