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Canes Fall to FSU in Pitching Duel at Alex Rodriguez Park

April 30, 2011

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: Brian Busch (3-1)
#8 FSU 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 8 0 L: Eric Whaley (6-3)
#14 Miami 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 S: Daniel Bennett (7)

2B: J. Ramsey, R. Lopez, P. Brunelle, H. Martinez
3B: N/A
RBI: P. Brunelle
SB: N. Melendres (2)

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – On Friday, fielding failed the Hurricanes. A day later, it was the bats. The Hurricanes managed just five hits and were shut out for only the second time this season in a 2-0 loss to rival Florida State Saturday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.

Three FSU hurlers combined on the shut-out, securing FSU’s second straight series win over Miami after the Noles took two of three from UM last year in Tallahassee.

Miami (28-15, 15-7 ACC) will look to salvage a game in the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Wasted in the loss was another solid outing by UM sophomore Eric Whaley, who allowed just two runs – one earned – on six hits while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings of work.

The quality start was the second straight for Whaley against the Noles (33-10, 16-7 ACC), as the right-hander allowed two runs in five innings in a 9-3 win over FSU at the 2010 ACC Tournament. That day, Whaley had all kinds of run support. Saturday night was a much different story.

The Canes managed to reach third just twice, once in the first and again in the eighth. Both times, FSU pitchers ended the threat with a strikeout.

It marked the first time UM was held scoreless against FSU since a 12-0 loss on April 27, 2003 in Tallahassee.

FSU starter Hunter Scantling pitched effectively and despite keeping the Canes off the board, was pulled with one out and no one on in the fifth. When he exited, he had allowed two hits and four walks, while striking out a pair. From there, Brian Busch tossed 3 1/3 scoreless  before handing it off to Daniel Bennett, who went 1 1/3 innings to earn his seventh save of the season. Busch (3-1) was credited with the win.

Miami’s bullpen was just as effective, as Sam Robinson, Adam Sargent and A.J. Salcines combined to keep FSU off the board over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Despite Whaley, Robinson, Sargent and Salcines keeping it close, the runs never came for the Canes.

The Noles were led offensively by Devon Travis and Rafael Lopez, both of whom finished the night 2-for-4. Parker Brunelle (1-for-4) had FSU’s lone RBI, while Lopez and Justin Gonzalez (1-for-4) scored the game’s only runs.

Rony Rodriguez had two of Miami’s five hits, going 2-for-3. Nathan Melendres, Harold Martinez and Chris Pelaez had the Canes’ other three hits. Martinez’s hit extended his hitting streak to 12 games, while Melendres stole a pair of bases in the first and had a productive night defensively in center.

A day after committing a season-high seven errors, the Hurricanes seemed to have corrected all of their problems until the top of the fifth, when FSU broke a scoreless tie with yet another unearned run. With two outs and a man on first, Travis singled through the right side but the ball got through rightfielder Dale Carey, allowing Gonzalez to come the whole way around to plate the game’s first run.

The only time the Noles got to Whaley was in the seventh, as a pair of doubles by Lopez and Brunelle ended his night and put the Noles up two.

The Hurricanes had a couple of chances late but weren’t able to capitalize. A Harold Martinez double and a Chris Pelaez single put runners on the corners with two outs in the eighth, but a strikeout ended the threat. In the ninth, a pair of walks put men on first and second but a hard comebacker to Bennett off the bat of Stephen Perez was controlled and thrown to first to end the threat and the game.

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University of Miami Postgame Notes:

Packing the Park
Saturday night’s announced attendance of 4,634 was a new season-high for the Hurricanes inside Alex Rodriguez Park, as well as an Alex Rodriguez Park high in attendance.

Rodriguez Picks the Hits
Junior Rony Rodriguez picked up his 10th multi-hit game of the season – his seventh game of the year with two hits.

Whaley On the Mound
Sophomore right-hander Eric Whaley tossed 6 1/3 innings as a starter for the Hurricanes – the most innings pitched for the Pompano Beach native since facing Georgia Tech on March 27, 2011.

Stealing the Show
With back-to-back steals for junior Nathan Melendres in the opening inning, he picked up his 15th and 16th stolen bases of the year. He is second on the team in that category behind leader Zeke DeVoss.

Bad Time for a Shutout
The 2-0 loss for the Hurricanes was their first shutout at home of the year, and their first scoreless effort since a 1-0 pitchers’ duel at top-ranked Florida on March 5, in Gainesville.

This was also the first shutout loss to Florida State since April 27, 2003, when the Seminoles took down the Hurricanes by a count of 12-0.

Hits for Harold
Junior first baseman Harold Martinez extended his hit streak to 12 games with his double in the eighth inning. That was the sixth double of the season for Martinez.