Beauprez Tosses Gem to Lead No. 12 Baseball
|W – D. Beauprez (2-2)||5.0||0||0||0||1||6|
|L – M. Austin (3-3)||2.2||5||6||6||6||1|
|UM – Z. Collins||3||1||2||2||2||0|
|UM – G. Kennedy||4||1||2||3||0||0|
|PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Derik Beauprez | Soph. | RHP
The big righthander came up with the best performance of his season on late notice, tossing five hitless innings and striking out a career-high six batters in the win.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Sophomore righthander Derik Beauprez delivered a dominant outing in an emergency start, and the No. 12 Hurricanes cruised to a 14-0 win over Bethune-Cookman in the opener of an eight-game homestand.
Beauprez, starting in place of lefthander Danny Garcia who was a late scratch due to a stomach virus, tossed five hitless innings in his first start on the mound since March 8.
“I walked into the locker room and they told me, ‘You’re getting the ball today,'” Beauprez explained with a smile. “I was happy to get the ball, but I hope Danny’s feeling better.”
Head coach Jim Morris said Beauprez had “really good stuff,” including a fastball in the 93-95 miles-per-hour range and an effective breaking ball.
“It builds his confidence, which builds confidence for us in him,” Morris said. “It’s good to see it. He has a very high ceiling as a player with a lot of potential. It was good to see him go out and pitch well.”
The start was his first since a disappointing outing at Louisville, where he allowed four earned runs and lasted just two innings. The difference Wednesday was getting ahead of the Wildcat hitters, according to Beauprez, who threw 43 of his 62 pitches for strikes.
“The biggest thing was first-pitch strikes and just pounding the zone,” Beauprez said.
Bethune-Cookman (16-38) did not record its first hit until a two-out double off reliever Sam Abrams in the seventh inning.
Miami (35-13), on the other hand, was locked in from the outset. The Hurricanes plated runs in each of the first six innings, and held a commanding 7-0 lead by the end of the fourth.
“If we’re hitting the ball like this, pitching like we are right now and playing defense, it’s going to be really tough to beat us,” first baseman Christopher Barr said. “We just need to continue to play well at the end of the season, when it matters.”
Barr, one of four Hurricanes to record more than one hit, tied a career high with three hits on the night. Miami outhit Bethune-Cookman 12-3.
Bethune-Cookman starter Michael Austin struggled with command in his 2.2-inning outing, walking six batters and allowing six earned runs.
The Hurricanes plated a run on a wild pitch from Austin (3-3) in the first, scored a pair in the second on an error and RBI single from junior George Iskenderian, and boosted their lead to 6-0 in the third on a two-RBI double from Ricky Eusebio and an RBI single from Christopher Barr.
That was more than enough for Beauprez, who called the outing a “huge opportunity.”
His six strikeouts, including a swinging punchout of Rakeem Quinn to end his night, bested his previous career high of four set during his freshman year. He fanned at least one Wildcats batter in each inning.
“When a pitcher is going out there like Derik was, throwing strikes and putting zeroes on the board, the hitters get confidence,” Barr said.
After junior David Thompson opened the fourth with his team-leading 12th home run of the season, Miami blew the game open with five runs in the fifth, including a bases-clearing double from senior Garrett Kennedy.
A two-out double from Jordan Robinson off Abrams marked just the Wildcats’ second baserunner of the night. Abrams worked out of a bases-loaded jam to help preserve the shutout, while freshmen Andy Honiotes and Jesse Lepore blanked Bethune-Cookman over the final two innings.
The win improved Miami’s record to 24-4 at home, where the Hurricanes will play their final seven games of the regular season before the ACC Championship in Durham, N.C.
“We’re taking it one game at a time. We’ve been playing great at home, we have to continue to play great,” Barr said.
Miami returns to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field Friday for its series opener against visiting NYIT. First pitch for the game, slated for broadcast on Canes All-Access and 560 WQAM, is set for 7 p.m.