No. 4 Baseball Captures Sixth Straight Series
Coral Gables, Fla. • Alex Rodriguez Park
|L||T. Howe (5-1)|
|S||C. Hammond (2)|
|Lopez, B. (4), Palmer, T. (12)|
|Lopez, B. 2 (24), Kennedy, G. (15), Carey, D. (19), Palmer, T. (26), Abreu, W. (25)|
|Marrero, E., Price, D.|
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — No. 4 Miami finished off its sixth straight series victory Sunday afternoon, besting the visiting Alabama State Hornets 6-3 in a game three rubber match at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
After falling behind 3-0 in the fourth inning, Miami reeled off six runs over the next three frames to capture a decisive lead. Redshirt junior Bryan Radziewski delivered another strong outing on the hill, and the Hurricanes out-hit a talented Hornets offense to help capture the series win.
Entering the matchup with a perfect 5-0 record, Hornets righthander Tyler Howe took his first loss of the spring in the defeat. The win was Miami’s 21st in its last 23 tries games back to March 24, and avenged a disappointing 6-5 loss on Saturday night.
“We got back on the winning track, so it’s a big win for us,” head coach Jim Morris said. “Overall I thought we played well. Radziewski threw well, we played good defense…we beat a good club.”
Radziewski (5-2) continued his ascent in the Miami record books with another solid outing, moving into sole possession of 10th place in all-time strikeouts. Radziewski fanned seven batters on the afternoon, bumping his career total to 308 and leapfrogging Dan Davies (305) for a place among the all-time greats.
The Miami, Fla., native breached the 300-strikeout plateau last time out at Clemson.
“It’s a great accomplishment, but more importantly are the wins,” Radziewski said. “I’ve turned my season around from the first half to now, and that’s all I’ve been really focusing on.”
The lefthander allowed three runs in the fourth, aided by a mental lapse on a squeeze attempt with runners on second and third. Rather than get a sure out at first, Radziewski attempted an unlikely throw home that made its way past catcher Garrett Kennedy and scored both runners.
“They had a squeeze and I should have known better not to go home,” Radziewski said. “I should have gone to first – it would have saved a lot of trouble…that’s completely on me.”
Facing a 3-0 deficit, Miami responded by taking the lead in the home half of the same inning. The Hurricanes (34-14) struck for four runs and chased Howe after just 3.1 innings of work.
Back-to-back walks from freshman Willie Abreu and sophomore Ricky Eusebio opened the rally, and a sacrifice bunt from senior Alex Hernandez moved both runners into scoring position. Sophomore Brandon Lopez came through with the clutch hit, lacing a one-out double into the right-center gap to plate both runners and cut the deficit to 3-2.
Freshman Laz Rivera, making his third consecutive start at third base, then had a lengthy battle with Howe before being plunked by a pitch to prolong the inning.
Junior Garrett Kennedy cracked a single through the rightside, scoring Lopez from third and forcing a call from the bullpen.
With runners on the corners, righthander Hunter McIntosh appeared to have induced a routine flyout from senior Dale Carey for the second out. Hornets centerfielder Richard Amion had trouble tracking the ball in the wind, however, and an error scored Rivera from third to give Miami its first lead at 4-3.
“There were runners on first and third, and I’m thinking hit something up the middle hard,” Carey said. “With the wind blowing in, it wasn’t what I wanted, but it did the job, and I’m happy with that.”
After a rocky fourth inning in which he allowed Alabama State’s only three runs, Radziewski settled down to allow just two singles and one walk the rest of the way. The southpaw finished the afternoon with 93 pitches, giving way to freshman Cooper Hammond with one out in the seventh.
“With the wind blowing in, I was just pitching to contact,” Radziewski said of his approach.
Miami tacked on two more runs in the sixth to pad its lead to 6-3. Rivera singled and Carey was hit by a pitch from McIntosh to put two runners on base for senior Tyler Palmer. The captain delivered, belting an RBI double to plate Miami’s fifth run of the afternoon. An RBI groundout from freshman Willie Abreu scored Carey from third capped the scoring.
Hammond earned a rare 2.2-inning save, needing just 29 pitches to close out the win over the Hornets (34-18). He struck out four batters and allowed just one baserunner to reach – a leadoff walk to Cesar Rivera in the eighth – en route to the second save of his career.
“We always want to sweep, but we’re happy with the weekend,” Carey said. “That’s a good team over there, Alabama State…it’s good to beat a team like that.”
The Hurricanes will wrap up their nonconference schedule Wednesday with a matchup against visiting FGCU at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 7 p.m.