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Abreu Homers in 4-2 Win Over No. 19 UCF

Abreu Homers in 4-2 Win Over No. 19 UCF


Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
UCF 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 2
UM 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 X 4 9 0
W – M. Mediavilla (2-1) 0.2 0 0 0 0 1
L – H. Hukari (4-2) 2.2 5 2 2 2 3
UM – G. Kennedy 3 0 1 2 1 0
UM – W. Abreu 3 1 1 1 0 1
Garrett Kennedy | Sr. | C

The senior catcher came up with another big hit Wednesday night, driving the opposite-field game-winning single in the seventh, extending his hitting streak to nine games.

CORAL GABLES, Fla – Senior Garrett Kennedy continued his red-hot stretch at the plate with the game-winning hit Wednesday, as Miami finished off a perfect nine-game homestand with a 4-2 win over UCF.

With two runners in scoring position and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Kennedy connected on a go-ahead single off UCF reliever Harrison Hukari (4-2) to give the Hurricanes a two-run lead.

Cooper Hammond pitched a scoreless eighth inning while Bryan Garcia earned his eighth save of the season by pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Miami’s five pitchers held the Knights offense, who entered the contest ranked eighth nationally in total hits, to a season-low four hits.

“It was a good game. I thought both teams played well,” head coach Jim Morris said. “UCF has a good club. They can really hit. I thought our whole pitching staff did a good job pitching against them.”

Sophomore Willie Abreu cracked his second home run of the season in the win, which improved Miami’s home record to 22-2 this season.

“There’s that great feeling [about playing at home],” Abreu said. “Our fans, I think, are the best in the country. It’s amazing playing here. The fans definitely get us going.”

It was UCF who struck first Wednesday, as the Knights (25-13) tagged Miami lefthander Danny Garcia for a run in the game’s first inning. The visitors took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single from Erik Barber, who was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double, a decision that ended the inning.

A monstrous solo home run from Abreu off UCF starter Robbie Howell tied the game in the bottom half of the second.

“It was good to be able to put my team on the board,” Abreu said.

The home run, a towering blast that hit the parking garage in rightfield, was the second of the season for Abreu.

Miami (29-9) took the lead an inning later when sophomore Zack Collins cracked an RBI single to rightfield that plated the speedy George Iskenderian from second.

Iskenderian, who reached on a fielder’s choice before stealing his team-high 14th base of the year, raced around from second and slid in ahead of the catcher’s tag to give Miami a one-run lead.

A solo home run from UCF’s Tommy Williams tied the game 2-2 in the top half of the fourth.

Garcia delivered an efficient performance on the hill against the talented Knights offense, allowing just two runs in 5.1 innings. He scattered four hits and struck out three batters across the 93-pitch outing before giving way to righthander Daniel Briggi with one out in the sixth.

“Danny went out there today and kept us in the game,” said Kennedy, who has split time catching with Collins. “That’s big for him to go out there. That’s all you can ask – have a good start, and have our bullpen keep it going.”

Briggi tossed 1.0+ innings before giving way to Michael Mediavilla in the seventh.

Mediavilla (2-1) struck out one batter and did not allow a hit in his 11-pitch outing.

Singles from Brandon Lopez and Carl Chester set up the seventh-inning scoring opportunity for Kennedy , who stretched his hitting streak to nine games with the clutch single.

The win was Miami’s sixth against a ranked team this season and improved the Hurricanes’ record to 8-2 in midweek games.

“You always have to rise to the occasion,” Kennedy said. “You’re not going to play down to any opponent. It’s really good to play those midweek games against guys who are good on the other side.”

With its nine-game homestand in the books, Miami travels to Charlottesville, Va., for a weekend series against Virginia beginning Friday. First pitch for the opener, slated for broadcast on WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 6 p.m. from Davenport Field.