17-4 Win Bumps Baseball Streak to 12 Straight
|W – C. Hammond (4-1)||1.2||1||0||0||0||1|
|L – B. Gold (7-3)||4.1||8||6||6||3||4|
|UM – J. Heyward||4||3||2||6||1||1|
|UM – G. Kennedy||5||3||4||1||1||0|
|PLAYER OF THE GAME|
|Jacob Heyward | Soph. | OF
The sophomore continued his breakout stretch with a career-best six-RBI game, including a three-run blast in the sixth that helped put the game away.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Eighth-ranked Miami connected for three sixth-inning home runs to break open its regular season finale, toppling Georgia Tech 17-4 to finish off a three-game sweep at Mark Light Field.
Sophomore Zack Collins, junior David Thompson and sophomore Jacob Heyward all homered in the frame, as Miami outhit the Yellow Jackets (32-22, 13-17 ACC) 19-9 en route their 12th straight win heading into postseason play.
The Hurricanes (42-13, 22-8 ACC), who ended the regular season with the best overall record of any ACC team, open play at the 2015 ACC Baseball Championship in Durham, N.C., as the No. 2 overall seed either next Wednesday or Thursday.
“We played really well today,” head coach Jim Morris said. “I’m very excited with the way we’re playing. We’ve been playing well for a few weeks now. The pitching has been really good, the hitting has been good and the defense has played well.”
When asked about yet another dominant performance from his offense, Morris smiled.
“I come up to a press conference and Garrett Kennedy doesn’t get to come, and he went 4-for-5,” Morris joked. “That tells you how we swung the bat today.”
Miami outscored Georgia Tech 42-5 over the three games, and have outscored its opponents by an eye-popping 170-21 margin over the stretch that began in a 12-0 victory over Florida State back on April 26.
The sweep was Miami’s sixth at home and seventh of the spring.
“Coming into this year, we all knew we had the talent to do it,” said Heyward, who started his fifth straight game in leftfield and finished with a career-best six RBI. “I don’t think it surprised us, but it’s really crazy that we keep doing this in the ACC against ACC competition.”
Heyward, who batted just .205 in his freshman season, has emerged with a .483 batting average over the winning streak with three home runs and 11 RBI. His home run, the third of the sixth inning, marked the first time Miami connected for three homers in the same inning since May 2, 2009 vs. Boston College.
Junior George Iskenderian finished 3-for-5 in the finale to capture the ACC’s batting title with a .391 batting average in 55 starts.
“We have great hitters and great coaches to be around,” Heyward said. “We just go out and play with no worries. That’s what happens.”
Thompson, who made history by cracking three home runs in a nine-RBI performance Friday night, belted his ACC-leading 19th home run just four pitches after Collins hit a three-run shot over the leftfield fence.
“It’s pretty crazy we’ve been playing so well,” Thompson said. “It’s been a lot of fun to dominate like we have lately. We just hope to stay hot going into the playoffs now.”
Over Miami’s 12-game winning streak, Thompson has nine home runs.
“I’m just going up there trying to hit the ball hard and hit it where it’s pitched,” Thompson said of his approach. “Lately they’ve been going out.”
The final scoring margin was not indicative of the back-and-forth nature of the game’s early scoring.
The Yellow Jackets plated a run in the first on an RBI single from A.J. Murray to take a 1-0 lead.
Junior Enrique Sosa battled through uncharacteristic struggles at home, surrendering four runs in 4.2 innings and blowing a 4-1 lead by allowing three runs in the fifth.
But in the end, Miami’s offense was too much to overcome. The Hurricanes scored four runs in the fourth, two more in the fifth and seven in the sixth to go ahead 13-4.
“They came out swinging and battling us back, and we answered well,” Thompson said. “That’s a good sign.”
A four-run seventh inning, including a bases-clearing double from Heyward, bumped the lead to 13 runs.
“I definitely don’t want to be the other team’s pitchers right now,” Thompson said.
Sophomore Cooper Hammond (4-1) tossed 1.2 innings in relief to earn the win.
Miami will head Pool B at the 2015 ACC Baseball Championship alongside third-seeded Notre Dame, sixth-seeded NC State and the winner of No. 7 Virginia and No. 10 Georgia Tech. Game times will be announced Sunday, May 17 by the conference.