Diaz, Canes Take Down No. 24 Virginia Tech
18-7 • 3-4 ACC
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
17-6 • 4-3 ACC
|C. Diaz (3-1)
|B. Markey (2-2)
|E. Nedeljkovic (5)
Eusebio, Fieger, Hernandez
|Broad, Eusebio 3, Fieger 2, Mack 2, Thompson 3
|Burns, Horan 3, Perez, Pinder 2, Zagunis,
March 22, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Behind an impressive start from sophomore lefthander Chris Diaz, the Miami Hurricanes took down No. 24 Virginia Tech 11-9 in the series opener Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Diaz delivered his fifth quality start in six opportunities this season, scattering seven hits across a career-long eight innings. After surrendering two runs in the first, Diaz would settle down to allow only four hits the rest of the way. The sophomore picked up speed as the night progressed, striking out the side in the seventh and retiring 10 of the last 11 batters he faced. He ended the night with a career-best six punchouts.
After falling behind in the first, the Hurricanes struck for five runs over the next two frames, including a four-run third that saw Miami send all nine batters to the plate.
Miami (18-7, 3-4 ACC) cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run in the second. Junior Brad Fieger opened the inning with a double belted into the left-center gap, while a sacrifice fly from freshman Ricky Eusebio two batters later put Miami on the board.
Back-to-back singles from Christopher Barr and Alex Hernandez to open the third gave the Hurricanes a prime scoring opportunity in the early going. Senior Chantz Mack delivered on his chance, roping his first triple of the season down the rightfield line to help Miami take a 3-2 lead.
After Virginia Tech (17-6, 4-3 ACC) starter Brad Markey set down the next two batters, the hosts came up with some timely two-out hitting to increase their early advantage. Michael Broad connected on an RBI single, and eventually took third on an error by Hokies’ centerfielder Andrew Rash and a balk from Markey. After Ricky Eusebio was issued a four-pitch walk, slugger David Thompson delivered an opposite field single that plated Broad, as the Canes opened a 5-2 lead.
That was all Diaz would need, as he retired 12 of the next 15 batters after the first.
The Hurricanes tacked on three insurance run in the seventh with more two-out hitting. Fieger drove in Mack with an RBI single, while a two-RBI basehit from Thompson helped Miami pull away.
The insurance runs proved crucial late in the game, as Virginia Tech struck for seven runs in the top of the ninth. In the end, senior Eric Nedeljkovic recorded his fifth save of the season, striking out Andrew Rash to end the game.
The two teams will return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field for game two of their series Saturday night. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.