Kennedy, Sosa Lead Baseball to Sweep of Duke
|W – E. Sosa (4-3)||6.1||1||0||0||1||3|
|L – B. Clark (2-2)||2.0||4||4||3||1||1|
|UM – G. Kennedy||4||3||3||1||1||0|
|UM – D. Thompson||4||1||2||4||0||1|
|PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Enrique Sosa | Jr. | RHP
Sosa set the tone for a dominant Miami performance Sunday, allowing just two Blue Devils to reach base through 6.1 innings of work.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – No. 12 Miami completed its second straight home sweep Sunday afternoon, finishing off visiting Duke with a dominant 10-0 victory at Mark Light Field.
Junior righthander Enrique Sosa was in control from the outset, Miami’s offense outhit Duke 13-3, and the Hurricanes widened their Coastal Division lead to four games.
“I thought we played a good game as a team – a complete game,” head coach Jim Morris said. “It started with Sosa. The pitcher sets the tone of the game, always. He pitched very well today.”
Sosa (4-3) allowed just two runners to reach base, and one as far as second. Peter Zyla’s leadoff single in the fifth ended a stretch of 12 in a row retired by Sosa to open the contest.
A seventh-inning walk from Mike Rosenfeld was the only other blemish on a dominant performance from Sosa, who endured disappointing starts the past two weekends.
“I’ve been struggling, so today I just tried to hit my spots,” Sosa said. “The defense played really good behind me, so that helps a lot.”
Sosa capped a tremendous weekend for Miami’s starting rotation. Thomas Woodrey allowed just one earned run in 6.0 strong in Friday’s series opener, while Andy Suarez struck out a career-high 12 batters in Saturday night’s victory.
“Just throw strikes,” Sosa said of the staff’s mindset on the weekend. “Get ahead early, and try to make the offspeed pitches count when you throw them.”
The junior righthander had an appearance to forget last time against North Carolina, lasting just 2.2 innings.
“It was great to see him get back in a groove,” Morris said. “He was locating all of his pitches well and getting ahead of the hitters.”
Seven of Miami’s nine starters recorded at least one hit on the day, with four recording multi-hit games. The 10 runs were the most given up all season by Duke (19-13, 4-11 ACC), with five coming in a decisive third inning.
The Hurricanes sent 11 batters to the plate in the frame, when Miami chased Duke righthander Bailey Clark and never looked back. Six different Hurricanes recorded hits in the inning.
Singles from Johnny Ruiz and Ricky Eusebio, sandwiched around a walk from Justin Smith, loaded the bases for red-hot Garrett Kennedy.
The senior came through with his seventh hit of the week, an RBI single through the rightside that plated Ruiz and chased Clark (2-2) after just 2.0+ innings.
Duke lefthander Mitch Stallings entered in relief and yielded a two-RBI single from George Iskenderian, and back-to-back RBI singles from David Thompson and Willie Abreu that bolstered Miami’s lead to 5-0.
At bat for a second time in the inning, Smith grounded out to third to finally cap the frame.
Kennedy was the catalyst for Miami (24-9, 11-4 ACC) in the fourth, cranking his first career triple off Duke lefthander Luke Whitten into the right-center gap. He would score on an Iskenderian RBI single to bump the lead to 6-0.
Kennedy finished with his second consecutive three-hit game (3-for-4) and tied a career high with three runs scored. He finished the week hitting .629 (9-for-13) and led all Hurricanes with eight RBI in a 4-0 week.
“You go out there and work hard every day. Things will fall into place if you keep working hard – that’s what I believe in,” said Kennedy, who was bumped to the No. 2 spot before Saturday’s game.
The senior is now leading the team with a .378 average, and is hitting an eye-popping .438 in ACC play.
“Just confidence up there,” Kennedy said about his key to success. “Getting good pitches and putting good swings on it, and giving my team the most chances to win.”
Miami clinched the game with four runs in the sixth, including Thompson’s ninth homer of the season.
Thompson, who saw his 20-game hitting streak come to an end Saturday night, went 2-for-4 with four RBI, three coming on a three-run blast to leftfield off Duke reliever Karl Blum.
Thompson was joined by Kennedy, Iskenderian (3-for-5) and Ruiz (2-for-2) with multi-hit performances. Ruiz reached base in all four of his plate appearances.
Sosa exited to a standing ovation in the seventh, as the crowd of 2,291 showed their appreciation.
Daniel Briggi pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, while Ryan Otero pitched a scoreless ninth to cap off the win.
The Hurricanes return to Mark Light Field Wednesday for a midweek matchup with visiting FAU. First pitch for the game, slated for broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6 p.m.