No. 24 Baseball Sweeps Second Straight Series
Blacksburg, Va. • English Field
|Diaz, S. (2)|
|Kennedy, G. (12), Fieger, B. (21), Lopez, B. 2 (17), Collins, Z. 2 (27), Hernandez, A. 2 (14)|
|Sciretta, P. 2|
BLACKSBURG, Va. — No. 24 Miami completed its second straight road sweep Sunday afternoon, toppling the Virginia Tech Hokies 9-2 in the series finale at English Field.
Miami, who captured all three games against then-No. 25 NC State in Raleigh last weekend, had never before swept back-to-back three-game ACC road series since joining the conference in 2004. With the win, the Hurricanes extended their season-long winning streak to eight games and improved to 11-4 in conference play.
“It was a great job by our whole team,” head coach Jim Morris said. “It’s a tremendous league – you’re really just trying to win series on the road. But to get back-to-back sweeps is outstanding.”
The Hurricanes received seven strong innings from All-American lefthander Bryan Radziewski, who kept Virginia Tech largely off balance after allowing two runs in the first inning. Radziewski (2-2) earned his first win since March 8 with the performance, ending a stretch of three consecutive no decisions.
Leading just 4-2 for most of the game, Miami tacked on five runs in the ninth to secure the win.
Radziewski attributed his ability to locate his offspeed pitches as the key to his success against the Hokies.
“Getting ahead in counts, being able to establish my slider and offspeed pitches – that was what helped me out,” Radziewski said. “Just throwing my offspeed for strikes.”
Miami (21-12, 11-4 ACC) plated three runs in the third inning to take an early 4-2 advantage. Senior Tyler Palmer opened the inning with a single up the middle, stole second, and then took third after beating an unsuccessful relay by the Virginia Tech infield. Palmer would score on a wild pitch from Hokies starter Jon Woodcock (0-1) to tie the game, as freshman Zack Collins – who took second on a throwing error during the relay – advanced to third.
Collins scored on an RBI groundout from senior Brad Fieger to give Miami a 3-2 lead, and the Hurricanes weren’t done there. With two outs, freshman Sebastian Diaz cranked a double into the left-center gap and freshman Johnny Ruiz walked, chasing Woodcock out of the game after just 2.2 innings.
Sophomore Brandon Lopez took advantage of the opportunity, lacing a single up the middle off Hokies reliever Aaron McGarity to push Miami’s lead to 4-2 over the host Hokies (14-15-1, 5-10 ACC).
After a tough first inning, Radziewski settled down to deliver a dominant effort. Radziewski fanned seven batters on the afternoon and allowed just five hits – all singles – after the first. He induced two double plays, and did not allow a Hokie to reach as far as second until his final inning.
With his pitch count nearing 100 and his team leading 4-2 in the seventh inning, Radziewski walked Tom Stoffel and allowed a one-out single to Saige Jenco to put runners on the corners. The lefthander worked his way out of the jam, however, striking out Hokies second baseman Alex Perez and inducing a groundout from All-American slugger Mark Zagunis to get out of the inning unharmed.
“He was throwing his breaking stuff over – that’s his secret to success,” Morris said. “He was really locating his slider, getting ahead of hitters – it was a great outing by him.”
A five-run ninth inning widened Miami’s lead to 9-2. With Carey on third and Palmer on second after a mishandled sacrifice bunt, Virginia Tech intentionally walked freshman Willie Abreu to force an out at any base. Collins made the Hokies pay, driving a pitch from reliever Phil Sciretta into deep right to plate Carey and Palmer. A single from Alex Hernandez scored two more runs, while another RBI single from Lopez capped the scoring.
Sophomore Thomas Woodrey pitched a scoreless eighth and freshman Cooper Hammond a scoreless ninth to send Miami to victory.
“We got to save [closer] Bryan [Garcia], who threw Friday and Saturday, which is big,” Radziewski said. “Getting a sweep this weekend was huge for us. We’re finally starting to click as a team.”
The Hurricanes will return to the diamond on Wednesday, April 9 for a matchup with in-state foe UCF. First pitch for the game from Jay Bergman Field, slated for radio broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6:30 p.m.
Season tickets to Miami’s 2014 season at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field start for as low as $99, with a Family Plan option (two adult tickets, three youth tickets) covering all home games available for just $199. For more information, visit CanesTix.com or call (305) 284-2263.