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Hurricanes Take Series Opener 4-1

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E W: E. Erickson (4-2)
Terrapins 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1 L: B. Kirkpatrick (1-3)
Hurricanes 0 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 5 0 S: E. Encinosa (7)
Batting

RBI: P. O’Brien 2 (28), S. Perez (15) | K.J. Hockaday (12)
SB: R. Rodriguez (2) | CS: B. Fieger, S. Perez

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The ninth-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes resumed their conference schedule on Friday at Alex Rodriguez Park, winning their series opener with the visiting Maryland Terrapins by a final score of 4-1

Though senior catcher Peter O’Brien had powered the team in their last two contests, it was his co-captain and veteran southpaw Eric Erickson who guided the Hurricanes to victory on Friday. Erickson, coming off a tough outing against Duke last Friday, rebounded with one of his best performances of the season. The lefthander needed 96 pitches to get through his seven innings of work, allowing five hits and only one run.

Not to be outdone, it was O’Brien who gave the Canes their first lead of the night with a two-RBI single in the third inning. With the bases loaded and one out, O’Brien connected on a single to left field that scored freshman shortstop Jarred Mederos and sophomore outfielder Tyler Palmer. On the next play, Maryland starter Brady Kirkpatrick (2.2 innings, three hits, three walks, three runs) was charged with a balk, as Dale Carey crossed homeplate to make it 3-0 Miami.

Erickson endured his only rough patch of the game in the next inning. After allowing a lead-off single to Kyle Convissar, the typically controlled Erickson plunked Tim Kiene and saw both runners advance on a wild pitch to K.J. Hockaday. After Hockaday knocked in Convissar with an RBI single, Erickson induced a nifty 5-4-3 double play to get out of the inning with minimal damage.

Though the Hurricanes ended the game with only five hits, the team’s collective patience at the plate paid off in a big way on Friday night. With seven combined walks (including three from Carey), Miami had a steady stream of baserunners the entire night. After Rony Rodriguez walked earlier in the inning, an RBI single from Stephen Perez gave the Hurricanes a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

The Miami bullpen, which has developed into a strong force for pitching coach J.D. Arteaga over the team’s recent 9-1 stretch, was once again effective on Friday night. AJ Salcines needed only one pitch for his work on a popout to right field. Sophomore sidewinder Adam Sargent then came on in relief, extending his personal scoreless streak to 6.2 innings dating back to Feb. 24. E.J. Encinosa pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save of the season.

GAME NOTES:

Bullpen Shines Again
With his brief two-out stint in the eighth inning, sophomore reliever Adam Sargent extended his personal scoreless streak to 6.2 innings dating back to Feb. 24. E.J. Encinosa recorded his seventh save of the season with a scoreless ninth, and AJ Salcines needed only one pitch to get his lone out of the seventh inning.

Easy E At His Best
Eric Erickson used his versatile repertoire to keep Maryland hitters off-balance all night. The southpaw pitched seven innings and allowed only five hits, throwing first-pitch strikes to 17 of his 25 batters faced.

An RBI Machine
Senior catcher Peter O’Brien knocked in the team’s first two runs with a single in the third inning. His total of 28 RBI’s leads the team by a significant margin; the next highest RBI total is 15, which belongs to second baseman Stephen Perez.