Sosa Fans Career-High 10 in Dominant Outing
|W – Sosa (1-0)||5.2||1||0||0||2||10|
|L – Driscoll (0-1)||4.0||6||4||4||7||2|
|UM – Thompson||4||2||3||1||1||0|
|UM – Iskenderian||4||1||2||3||0||0|
|PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Enrique Sosa | Jr. | RHP
Enrique Sosa had never thrown more than 2.2 innings in any outing, but he certainly looked the part Saturday. The junior struck out 10 batters and dominated Rutgers hitters across 5.2 innings of shutout baseball.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Junior righthander Enrique Sosa delivered a sparkling performance in his first career start, the Hurricanes offense continued a torrid day at the plate, and Miami clinched their series against Rutgers Saturday night with a 9-3 victory in a doubleheader nightcap.
Sosa, who had never thrown more than 2.2 innings in any of his previous appearances at Miami, exited after 5.2 shutout innings. The Panama native struck out 10 batters, six more than his previous career high of four.
“It definitely felt good,” Sosa said of his outing. “All my pitches were moving a lot, and I could throw them all for strikes. [My teammates] definitely helped me a lot.”
Miami’s offense picked up where it left off in a 9-5 game one victory earlier in the afternoon, connecting for runs in four of the game’s first five innings. Five different players recorded at least one RBI – Carl Chester, David Thompson, George Iskenderian, Edgar Michelangeli and Christopher Barr – while the Hurricanes outhit the Scarlet Knights 15-3.
Thompson tied a career high with three hits, while Iskenderian, who connected on his first hit as a Hurricane earlier in the day, went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the nightcap.
“I think today we finally hit collectively, as opposed to yesterday when it was kind of scattered,” Iskenderian said. “It’s easy when guys start hitting in front of you, it’s kind of contagious. It gets fun when guys start collecting hits and there’s guys on base. You feel kind of obligated to get a hit.”
A three-run, eighth-inning rally by the Scarlet Knights was cut short when sophomore Cooper Hammond entered the game. The righthanded sidewinder got the final out of the inning on a groundout from Joe D’Annunzio, and Miami tacked on three runs in the eighth to pad its lead back to six.
“I thought we pitched well, we swung the bat well. It was a pretty complete game, that second game,” head coach Jim Morris said. “We did a good job jumping up on them, [but] we let them get back in the game late. We answered right back with some guys on the bench…I thought that was great by our hitters.”
Sosa opened the game with two first-inning strikeouts, and ended the night with at least one strikeout in each inning.
Sosa said that movement on all of his pitches was the key to the performance, which was the best individual outing by any Miami player on the mound through three games.
Miami chased Rutgers starter Kyle Driscoll after just 4.0 innings, tagging him for six hits, four runs and drawing seven walks – a career-high for the righthander. An RBI single from Thompson keyed a two-run first inning, while an RBI double from Chester in the second and Iskenderian’s RBI single in the third put Miami ahead 4-0 early.
The Hurricanes added two more in the fifth – one on an RBI triple from Iskenderian, the other on an RBI double from sophomore Barr – to cruise comfortably into the later innings.
Sosa showed no signs of nerves, setting down 10 batters in a row in the middle frames before hitting Gaby Rosa with a pitch to open the sixth. The junior ended his night with back-to-back punchouts of Mike Carter and Chris Suseck, inducing a standing ovation and chants of “So-sa! So-sa!” from the crowd of 2,860.
“I felt great throughout the whole start,” Sosa said. “I felt all of my pitches were really good, in the beginning and the end. I always have the same approach: just try to throw strikes…that’s about it.”
The Scarlet Knights tagged Miami freshman righthander Jesse Lepore for three runs in the eighth, but Hammond needed just two pitches to escape a bases-loaded jam. Miami responded with three runs of its own, loading the bases on two singles and a walk.
A sacrifice fly from Iskenderian and a two-RBI double from Edgar Michelangeli capped the game’s scoring in the bottom of the eighth, while Hammond shut down the Scarlet Knights for his first save of the season in the ninth.
Miami goes for the sweep Sunday afternoon. First pitch for the game is slated for 1 p.m., with tickets available for as little as $8 on CanesTix.com.