No. 9 Baseball Beats Rutgers 5-2 in Opener

No. 9 Baseball Beats Rutgers 5-2 in Opener


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
RU 0 10 
UM 0
W – Hammond (1-0) 0.2 1 0 0 0 1
L – Herrmann (0-1) 1.2 2 3 1 1 2
S – Garcia (1) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0
UM – Abreu 4 1 2 0 0 0
UM – Ruiz 4 0 1 3 0 0
Johnny Ruiz | So. | 2B
Ruiz’s eigth inning single up the middle broke a 2-2 tie. The sophomore had a career high 3 RBI in the win.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – A two-run single from sophomore Johnny Ruiz broke a deadlock in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Miami earned a thrilling 5-2 win over Rutgers on Opening Day at Mark Light Field.

On a night when Miami bats combined for just seven hits, Ruiz finished the night with a career-high three RBI, and none more important than the pair on his basehit up the middle off Rutgers reliever Max Herrmann (0-1).

“It didn’t start off too great, I struck out twice,” Ruiz said. “But I persevered, and my teammates told me, ‘Keep going, keep going.’ I’m just happy we got the team win. We fought until the end, we came back and we played well at the end to win.”

Sophomore closer Bryan Garcia, who set the freshman saves record in his first season at Miami, entered in the ninth and promptly shut down the Scarlet Knights, preserving the Hurricanes’ eighth consecutive win in season openers dating back to 2008.

Friday’s win also extended Miami’s winning streak over Rutgers to eight consecutive games.

“I thought it was a good effort by our team to come back,” head coach Jim Morris said. “I didn’t think we played as well as we could play in really any phase of the game. But the biggest thing was we came back and we got it done when our backs were against the wall.”

Garcia’s save put the finishing touches on a solid effort from the Miami bullpen. Sophomore righthander Derik Beauprez struck out two batters in 1.2 hitless innings, while freshman Michael Mediavilla made his career debut and promptly struck out Vinny Zarrillo to end the seventh.

Cooper Hammond (1-0) picked up the win with 0.2 scoreless innings.

In four combined innings of work, Miami’s bullpen allowed just two singles, no runs and struck out four batters while walking none.

Miami (1-0) got on the board in a hurry, as the first career triple from centerfielder Ricky Eusebio gave the hosts a man in scoring position just two batters into their season. Sophomore Zack Collins drew a walk to put runners on the corners, as a chopper from sophomore Willie Abreu was mishandled by shortstop Christian Campbell to plate Eusebio.

Rutgers starter Howie Brey induced a groundout from Garrett Kennedy to escape any further damage, as Miami took an early 1-0 lead in front of a crowd of 2,628.

Abreu finished the night 2-for-4 and as one of just two Hurricanes to record more than one hit in the contest.

“Willie hit the ball really well tonight,” Morris said. “He had a good day.”

Though he allowed a game-tying solo homer in the top half of the second, redshirt junior lefthander Andy Suarez did well to avoid any damage an inning later when Rutgers put runners on second and third with no outs.

Suarez induced a chopper to third, got a punchout on a check-swing, and retired Vinny Zarrillo on a groundout to second to escape the jam. Rutgers threatened again in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. What was initially scored as an RBI groundout by Milo Freeman was overturned on a runners’ interference call at second base, and Suarez got another clutch strikeout – this one of Gaby Rosa – to keep the score knotted at 1-1.

The Scarlet Knights finally took advantage of their chances in the fifth, as an RBI groundout from Zarrillo with runners on the corners made it 2-1.

That marked the end of the outing for Suarez, who scattered eight hits and two earned runs over 5.0 innings. He threw 90 pitches, struck out three batters but allowed eight hits.

“I didn’t have my stuff today,” Suarez said. “I kept battling, trying to keep my team in it. They were just aggressive, and swinging at all my fastballs.”

Brey was largely effective until the sixth, when he opened the inning by hitting David Thompson and allowed a single to Abreu to put two runners on base. After a sacrifice bunt advanced both Hurricanes into scoring position, junior George Iskenderian reached via walk to load the bases.

An RBI groundout from Ruiz plated Thompson to tie the ballgame at 2-2.

The Hurricane bullpen took care of the rest, and kept the Scarlet Knights off balance for the remainder of the night.

“Our bullpen is huge. They did a great job filling in…the bullpen always has been great for us since I’ve been here,” Ruiz said. “They continue to keep getting the job done.”

Miami returns to Mark Light Field for a doubleheader against the Scarlet Knights on Saturday. First pitch for Game 1 is set for 2 p.m., while Game 2 will commence at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the stadium or online in advance via