Suarez Shines in Series-Clinching 7-0 Victory
27-16 • 10-11 ACC
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
27-12 • 13-8 ACC
|A. Suarez (3-3)
|C. Schmidt (3-2)
|Carey, Gonzalez, Mack
|Carey 3, Gonzalez, Hernandez 2, Mack
April 21, 2013
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Behind a brilliant performance on the mound from sophomore lefthander Andrew Suarez and impressive surges from its offense throughout the afternoon, Miami captured a series victory over No. 12 Clemson with a 7-0 win in Sunday’s rubber match.
“It was a great game,” head coach Jim Morris said. “Clemson is a nationally-ranked team and they’re at the top of the ACC. It’s a huge series for us, especially after losing the first game.”
Suarez (3-3) scattered just six hits on the day, going the distance for the first time as a Hurricane in the third complete game for a Miami pitcher this season. The southpaw bested his previous career-high in innings pitched (7.0), striking out five batters and walking none in the best outing of his budding career.
“It was one of the best feelings I’ve had yet,” Suarez said of his first career complete game. “Especially throwing it here in my hometown, I had my family here watching me and a few friends.”
The southpaw helped Miami set the mark for second-fewest runs allowed in program history over a three-game series (two), delivering the second complete game shutout of the season for Miami. On the weekend, the Hurricanes’ rotation allowed two earned runs over 24 combined innings, good for a miniscule 0.75 ERA.
The Hurricanes (27-16, 10-11 ACC) gave their starter a lead during the first two innings of the afternoon, as RBI doubles from outfielders Chantz Mack and Dale Carey guided the hosts an early 3-0 advantage.
“Ever since the first inning, I was locating my pitches,” Suarez said. “Once my offense got a few runs in, I was more relaxed. I let my defense do the work.”
After recording a game-high three hits in Saturday’s 2-1 victory, Mack connected on his fifth double of the season in the bottom of the first to give Miami a 1-0 lead. With junior Alex Hernandez on second after a basehit earlier in the frame, Mack belted an offering from Clemson (27-13, 13-8 ACC) starter Clate Schmidt into the left-center gap, sending Miami to a 1-0 lead.
Just as it had in Saturday’s 2-1 victory, a sacrifice hit played a key role in the Hurricanes’ next scoring chance. With Brad Fieger (walk) on first and Garrett Kennedy (single) on second, freshman shortstop Brandon Lopez laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance both runners a base. Carey then cracked the very first pitch he saw from Schmidt (3-2) down the leftfield line, plating both runners with ease for the 3-0 advantage.
“I’ve been working on things with the coaches, just trying to get it going here,” said Carey, who finished with three RBI’s. “That at bat I went up there and said ‘put the ball in play hard’ somewhere, and get the runners in.”
Carey was also a key figure in the decisive inning of Saturday’s victory, advancing on a sacrifice after connecting for a leadoff single in teh frame. He would later score what proved to be the game-winning run on an RBI single from Hernandez, which helped set up Sunday’s rubber match.
The Hurricanes struck together three singles to make it 4-0 in the fourth, ending Schmidt’s day after just 3.2 innings. With Lopez on second and junior Tyler Palmer on first, Hernandez looped a single to centerfield. Thomas Brittle’s throw was wide of the bag, plating Lopez from second and advancing both runners a base. On in relief, freshman Zack Erwin got David Thompson on a lineout to center on the first pitch he saw to end the threat.
Suarez would cruise through the later innings, while Miami would tack on three runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the series-clinching victory. An RBI double from Roger Gonzalez and an RBI single from Hernandez keyed the frame.
After dropping the first game of the series by the slightest 1-0 margin, Miami rebounded to win the final two games, capturing their second consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference series.
“It’s a huge series for us, especially after losing the first game,” Morris said. “The tone is really set by Suarez. As normal, pitching is the name of the game, and he pitched a tremendous game.”
The Hurricanes wrap up their five-game homestand Wednesday with a midweek matchup against FAU. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.