Baseball Takes Game Two From No. 5 Seminoles
21-13 • 6-8 ACC
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
26-5 • 9-5 ACC
|W||B. Radziewski (4-1)|
|L||B. Leibrandt (4-3)|
|Broad, Hernandez, Mack, Palmer, Thompson 2|
April 5, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The Miami Hurricanes evened their rivalry series with fifth-ranked Florida State Saturday night at Alex Rodriguez Park, capturing game two of the weekend set by a final score of 6-0.
Behind another dominant start from southpaw Bryan Radziewski, Miami (21-13, 6-8 ACC) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Seminoles and forced a rubber match for Sunday’s series finale. The victory marked Miami’s third this season against a team ranked in the top 10.
“It’s a huge win for us,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We got a great performance from our pitchers, big night from our hitters, and we played outstanding defense. It puts us in a position to get a a chance to win a series against a club ranked in the top 10 in the country in all the polls.”
The lefthander, who entered Saturday’s matchup ranked second in the conference with an earned run average of less than one, managed to lower his ERA with seven shutout innings. Radziewski (4-1) scattered four hits and three walks, fanned eight batters and watched his season ERA dip to 0.78 in the victory.
“I was able to locate everything,” Radziewski said. “I was throwing my fastball for strikes, my slider, my curveball. Luckily this year I have a changeup, and that helps a ton.”
The Hurricanes struck first for the second consecutive game against their in-state rivals, tagging Seminole starter Brandon Leibrandt for three singles and a run in the game’s first inning. Freshman first baseman Christopher Barr led off the action with a basehit up the middle, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Alex Hernandez.
Senior Chantz Mack then roped a single of his own up the middle, plating Barr from second to open the game’s scoring. The Homestead, Fla., native was thrown out at second trying to extend the play. Senior Alex San Juan also connected for a single in the frame.
After dropping a bunt in the first inning, Hernandez connected on his first career homerun with two outs in the third. The West Palm Beach, Fla., native delivered a towering solo shot over the leftfield fence on a 2-1 offering from Leibrandt, helping the hosts take a 2-0 lead.
“I didn’t know it was gone,” Hernandez said of his first career jack. “I hit it and tried to run as hard as I could, I thought maybe it would hit off the wall or bounce. It was exciting to hear the crowd roar after the homerun.”
Junior Tyler Palmer extended Miami’s lead to three with a two-out RBI single an inning later. With San Juan on second (single, steal) and junior Dale Carey on first (walk), Palmer ripped a single up the middle that would force a close play at the plate. But a crafty slide from San Juan around the tag of Seminoles’ catcher Stephen McGee saw Miami increase its advantage to 3-0.
“The past couple of games we’ve been struggling,” Hernandez said. “We scored early, we scored often, and got some big hits. Most of all, we had fun doing it.”
That was all Radziewski would need, as the southpaw cruised through the middle innings of the game. He ended his night after seven innings and 127 pitches (74 strikes), improving his strikeout-to-walk ratio to 49 to 8.
Miami blew the game open in the fifth, chasing Leibrandt out of the game after just 4.0+ innnings of work. Barr led off the frame by reaching base once again, drawing a four-pitch walk. After Hernandez reached via bunt single, Leibrandt was pulled in favor of reliever Brandon Johnson. The lefthander intentionally walked San Juan to force an out at any base, but plunked Michael Broad with the bases loaded to force in a run.
Freshman David Thompson then ripped a two-RBI single up the middle, plating both Hernandez and San Juan, as Miami opened up a 6-0 advantage.
Senior Eric Whaley pitched two scoreless innings in relief, sealing Miami’s first shutout of Florida State since an April 16, 2004 matchup in Tallahassee. After dropping game one in heartbreaking fashion, the Hurricanes have a chance to clinch their second series against a team ranked in the top 25.
“We had a team meeting yesterday, and this is a new season,” Radziewski said. “We lost on Wednesday, we forgot about it. I’ve forgotten about everything that happened in the first 20 or so games. We’re 1-1 right now, and that’s all we care about.”
The Hurricanes will return to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Sunday for the series finale of their three-game set with Florida State. First pitch for the game, scheduled to be televised live on ESPNU, is set for noon.